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Pompeo on Trump threat to strike Iranian cultural targets: 'We'll behave lawfully'

Pompeo on Trump threat to strike Iranian cultural targets: 'We'll behave lawfully'

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE responded Sunday to President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE’s threat to attack 52 Iranian sites, including those "important to Iran & the Iranian culture" if Tehran retaliates for Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s death by saying the U.S. will “behave lawfully.”

ABC’s “This Week” host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosFacebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform 'justified' Commerce secretary on cyberattacks against corporations: 'This is the reality' Collins 'optimistic' Jan. 6 commission can pass Senate with modifications MORE pushed Pompeo on the president’s Saturday tweet, saying the Geneva conventions forbid attacks on places of worship and cultural objects.

“We’ll act lawfully," Pompeo responded. "We’ll behave inside the system. We always have, and we always will.”

“The American people should know that every target that we strike will be a lawful target, and it will be a target designed at the singular mission of protecting and defending America,” Pompeo said. 

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CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperPolice investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide Mississippi governor: Biden goal of 70 percent of US vaccinated by July 4 is 'arbitrary' Energy secretary: Adversaries have capability of shutting down US power grid MORE also pushed Pompeo on the point, asking “So cultural centers are theoretically fair targets in your view?” 

“We’re going to the things that are right and the things that are consistent with American law,” Pompeo responded.

“We will respond with great force and great vigor if the Iranian leadership makes a bad decision,” he added. “We hope that they won't.

The president posted a threat Saturday directed at Iran, saying the U.S. has targeted 52 Iranian sites and was ready to attack “very fast and very hard” if the country retaliates in response to the killing of Soleimani last week. 

Trump approved the strike to kill Soleimani last week, saying he was a “terrorist leader” who caused the deaths of many Americans.

Iran’s foreign minister responded to Trump’s Twitter threats on Sunday by saying that attacking sites of cultural significance would classify as war crimes.