Trump says if American targets attacked 52 Iranian cultural sites would be hit by US
Washington: President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States has targeted 52 Iranian sites that it would attack if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets in response to a U.S. drone attack that murdered Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
Showing no signs of seeking to reduce tensions raised by the attack on Friday that he arranged, the U.S. president issued a stern threat to Iran on Twitter.
Trump wrote in a series of tweets that Iran”is talking very boldly about targeting particular USA assets” to avenge Soleimani’s death.
Trump said the United States has”targeted 52 Iranian sites” and that some were”at a very substantial level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those aims, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
“The USA wants no more threats!” Trump said, adding that the 52 targets represented the 52 Americans who were held hostage in Iran after being seized at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.
Asked about Trump’s tweets through an interview with Fox News, White House national security advisor Robert O’Brien said”the president is trying to make it clear to the Iranians that this is a really bad path for them to return.”
O’Brien added:”The Iranians ought to be very careful. … We’ve said we believe the matter resolved — if they opt to move forward against america there will be serious consequences as the president pointed out.”
Iran condemned Trump on Sunday as a “terrorist in a suit” after he threatened to hit Iranian websites.
They hate cultures. He will learn history very soon that NOBODY can defeat’the Great Iranian Nation & Culture’,” information and telecommunications minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted.
Eyebrows were raised by trump’s suggestion that the United States could strike at targets of importance to Iranian culture.
Colin Kahl, a former Obama administration national security official, wrote on Twitter that he found it”hard to believe that the Pentagon would provide Trump targeting options which include Iranian cultural sites. Trump might not care about the laws of warfare, but DoD (Department of Defence) spouses and lawyers do… and targeting ethnic sites is war crime.”
The Pentagon declined to comment on the 52 targets and referred questions to the White House, which didn’t respond.
The U.S. strike on Soleimani’s convoy in Baghdad airport also killed Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and it raised the spectre of wider conflict in the Middle East. Tens of thousands of people marched to mourn both commanders.
The tweets of trump were issued in Florida during his holiday stay. An increasing number of Democrats have said the Republican president’s actions is bringing the United States to the brink of war.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on Saturday “the Trump Administration’s provocative, escalatory and disproportionate military involvement continues to put service members, diplomats and taxpayers of America and our allies at risk.”