US President Donald Trump warned Saturday that the US is targeting 52 sites in Iran and will hit them “very fast and very hard” if the Islamic republic attacks American personnel or assets.
In his high-stakes game of geopolitical chicken; not poker as per usual with the mullahs and Ayatollah of Iran saying he would see their 35 American targets and raise them 52 Iranian ones.
Earlier Iran’s Senior Revolutionary Guard Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh bragged that his forces have identified 35 U.S. targets for retaliatory strikes, including warships in the Persian Gulf, oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, military bases and embassies, “as well as Tel Aviv,” Israel’s largest city.
Last night Trump pushed his chips all in:
“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian site (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago),” the commander in chief tweeted.
3,000 additional troops from Fort Bragg’s @82ndABNDiv begin deploying to the Middle East amid rising tensions between the #US and #Iran. The 700 troops who deployed New Year’s Day have already arrived in #Kuwait.
The Trump administration has yet to offer any evidence backing its claim that last week’s killing of a senior Iranian official was legal under international law. Now the US president has also threatened to target Iran’s cultural sites – an action experts say would amount to committing a war crime.
President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that Iranian cultural sites were fair game for the US military, dismissing concerns that targeting the country’s heritage would constitute a war crime under international law.
“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. The USA wants no more threats!”
His comments prompted fury in Iran and criticism from within the United States and from across the world.
“Through MILLENNIA of history, barbarians have come and ravaged our cities, razed our monuments and burnt our libraries,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted on Sunday. “Where are they now? We’re still here, & standing tall.”
After committing “grave breaches” in killing Soleimani, Trump is now threatening a “WAR CRIME” in targeting cultural sites, Zarif added.
Iran’s wealth of historic monuments preserves the legacy of a civilisation that is a source of great pride among Iranians, from hard-liners in Tehran to the diaspora of Iranians in the West.
“I’m not sure when he [Trump] says cultural sites, does he, for example, mean our Persepolis?” asked Mehrdad Khadir, a cultural and political analyst in Tehran, referring in an interview with AP to the ancient ruins invaded by the Greeks in 330 BC.