Trump Threat to Commit ‘War Crime’ Denounced

Trump Threat to Commit ‘War Crime’ DenouncedTrump Threat to Commit ‘War Crime’ Denounced

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States' threat of hitting Iran’s cultural sites indicates its readiness to commit "war crime" and continue to breach international law after the heinous killing of a top Iranian commander. 
"Having committed grave breaches of int'l law in Friday's cowardly assassinations, @realdonaldtrump [US President Donald Trump] threatens to commit again new breaches of JUS COGENS; Targeting cultural sites is a WAR CRIME," he said on Twitter, using a Latin term referring to the principles that form the norms of international law that cannot be set aside. 
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated rapidly over the past week after US airstrikes led to the martyrdom of Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad, Iraq, on the orders of Trump. 
Trump ordered Soleimani's assassination, accusing him of preparing to attack Americans in Iraq and the Middle East.
"He was already attacking our embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations," he later alleged in a tweet. 
Iranian officials have strongly condemned the hostile move as an act of crime, pledging to wreak a harsh revenge for killing a commander who had played a key role in defeating terrorist groups in the region, including the self-styled Islamic State.  
Tens of thousands of people marched in Iraq on Saturday to mourn the martyrdom of Soleimani and Muhandis. They carried portraits of both men in the procession, chanting "Death to America".
Trump later warned in a tweet that the US could target 52 Iranian sites, "some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD" in case of any retaliatory attack against Americans or American assets.
"The USA wants no more threats!"
Zarif said those who "shamelessly sat to identify Iranian cultural & civilian targets" should be notified that jus cogens points to "international red lines." 
"That is, a big(ly) 'no no'."



Same Voice From Inside US 

Inside the US, Democratic critics say the Republican president's action was reckless and risked more bloodshed in a dangerous region, according to Reuters. 
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Trump is "threatening to commit war crimes," urging him to stop this approach.
"We are not at war with Iran. The American people do not want a war with Iran. This is a democracy. You do not get to start a war with Iran, and your threats put our troops and diplomats at greater risk. Stop!" she tweeted. 
Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also wrote on Twitter that Trump’s threat to hit Iranian sites "is a war crime".
"Threatening to target and kill innocent families, women and children—which is what you're doing by targeting cultural sites—does not make you a 'tough guy'. It does not make you 'strategic'. It makes you a monster,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Many Iraqis have expressed anger at Washington for killing the two men on Iraqi soil and possibly dragging their country into another conflict. 
Major Iraqi parliamentary factions are pushing for the expulsion of US troops from the Arab country. 
Zarif said, "Whether kicking or screaming, the end of US malign presence in West Asia has begun."
The Foreign Ministry once again summoned the Swiss envoy representing the US interests in Iran to receive Iran's strong protest to Trump's hawkish remarks, ISNA reported.  
"The hostile, threatening and abnormal statements by the US president are not acceptable at all and are in complete violation of international law," Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said. 
He noted that such threats resemble attacks by terrorist groups on cultural and historical sites that are clear examples of war crime under international regulations. 
Iran, Araqchi stressed, will not tolerate any threat or intimidation, and is ready to respond to any measure against its security and territorial integrity. 
"History has shown that the Iranian nation will make any invader regret," he said. 

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