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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUN Security Council rejects US bid to extend Iran arms embargo Overnight Defense: US seizes Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela | Progressives cool on Biden's foreign policy | Takeaways from Israel, UAE opening diplomatic ties Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire MORE responded Sunday to President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days 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 StephanopoulosSchumer declines to say whether Trump executive orders are legal: They don't 'do the job' Meadows defends US COVID-19 testing amid criticism Meadows says White House is 'hopeful' it can announce new coronavirus therapies 'in the coming days' 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 TapperJuan Williams: Keep the spotlight on Trump's COVID failure Chicago mayor: We can't let federal officials 'play police' in our city Coronavirus testing czar: Nobody on task force 'afraid to bring up anything' to Trump 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.