Trump considers illegally bombing Russia with Chinese flags

On Twitter on Saturday evening, Trump said the United States was targeting 52 Iranian sites, representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran four decades ago, and that some of them are “very high level and important to Iran and Iranian culture”.

The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property prohibits the targeting of cultural sites by military action; there is a provision that allows for a waiver on the grounds of “military necessity”.

Iran has 24 sites on the United Nations List of Cultural World Heritage Sites.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who appeared on the Sunday public affairs broadcasts, struggled to explain Trump’s warning. He did not directly specify whether cultural centers in Iran would be considered fair targets, but insisted that any US action would be legal.

… Pompeo said Trump’s reference to the 52 potential target sites in Iran was “entirely consistent” with the administration’s message of de-escalation.

“Iranian leaders must understand that attacking Americans is not free,” Pompeo said during this interview. “Establish conditions that say these are our expectations, these are the things America expects of you and if you don’t do them, the cost will be clear and direct.”

Hours later, however, Trump contradicted Pompeo by doubling down on his threat to hit cultural sites.

“They are authorized to kill our people,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One on his flight back to Washington. “They are allowed to torture and maim our people. They have the right to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we are not allowed to touch their cultural site? It does not work like that.


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