Iranian foreign minister: Trump is prepared to commit war crimes
Iran’s foreign minister on Tuesday called President Trump “lawless,” saying the president has no respect for international law and has threatened to commit war crimes.
In an appearance on CNN, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Trump “has no respect for international law.”
“Attacking cultural sites is a war crime,” he added.
Zarif went on to say that the Iranian government would issue a response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq just days ago.
“This is an act of aggression against Iran, and amounts to an armed attack against Iran and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally, not disproportionally,” he said. “We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump,” said Zarif.
In an interview with CNN, Zarif went further later on Tuesday, adding that Trump should apologize for Soleimani’s death.
“He needs to wake up and apologize,” Zarif continued, adding. “[Trump] has to realize that he has been fed misinformation.”
“They killed one of our most revered commanders and most senior commanders, and they took responsibility for it,” Zarif said.
Pointing to crowds of hundreds of thousands who turned out Monday and in the days prior to mourn Soleimani, Zarif warned that Trump would not see Iran defeated easily.
“President Trump, after watching the crowds yesterday, must stop threatening these people who will be further enraged by his threats — his threats will not frighten us,” Zarif said.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called President Trump’s decision to order the airstrike that killed top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani an act of “state terrorism” in an interview with CNN. https://t.co/NHxEPJhTTx pic.twitter.com/NuKXgILpWF
— New Day (@NewDay) January 7, 2020
Iran and the U.S. have been at the brink of armed conflict following Soleimani’s death, which a number of Democratic and progressive lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have said constituted an assassination of a foreign official.
Trump in recent days has threatened to target Iranian cultural heritage sites if Iran retaliates, dismissing criticism from rights organizations such as the Human Rights Watch that such an action would violate international law.
The killing of Soleimani has raised the question as to whether U.S. forces will engage with Iranian-backed militant groups in Iraq even as the country’s parliament has voted to expel U.S. troops from the region.
Updated at 3:00 p.m.