Trump's threat on Iranian cultural sites draws condemnation, worry

WASHINGTON (dpa)- US President Donald Trump's threat to retaliate against Iranian cultural sites has drawn widespread condemnation as Trump has doubled-down on threat.
"The targeting of sites of global cultural heritage is abhorrent to the collective values of our society," Daniel Weiss, President of New York's iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) said in a statement along with Met Director Max Hollein.

"Our world knows precisely what is gained from protecting cultural sites, and, tragically, what is lost when destruction and chaos prevail," they said.
Over the weekend Trump said the US has targeted 52 Iranian sites including some that are "important to Iran and the Iranian culture" and is ready to strike them if Iran retaliates against the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Friday.
Targeting a cultural institution that does not pose a threat could be considered a war crime under international law.
On Sunday night Trump reiterated his threat. Iran is "allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way," Trump told reporters.
On Monday Trump aide Kellyanne Conway contradicted the president saying he "didn't say he's targeting cultural sites" but was only "openly asking" a question.
"Trump's threatened actions would be morally reprehensible even outside the law, because they would destroy centuries-old places of prfound importance not just to Iranians, but to all of human civilization," Sara Bronin, a lawyer specializing in historic preservation wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.

Tuesday, January 7th 2020

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