It would be recalled that Donald Trump made a daring twit after the drone strike that killed general Qassem Soleimani that:
“We have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,”
The pentagon rejected this claim from the President, stating that, it is against international laws on conflict. According to the 1954 Hague Convention, nations must take all possible steps to protect cultural property and shall refrain from any act of hostility, directed against such property.
The Pentagon disclosed that every chosen Iranian target will pass through a vetting process to determine its legality and proportionality to every single Iranian action before Presidential approval. As it stands now, the US defense department has a list of its targets in Iran which they will not disclose but the assurance is that, they will exclude the cultural sites as the law dictates.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo also added that, “We’ll behave inside the system,” Pompeo said. We always have and we always will.”
Reacting to the threats, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explained that, “The targeting of sites of global cultural heritage is abhorrent to the collective values of our society,” they also added that “At this challenging time, we must remind ourselves of the global importance of protecting cultural sites – the objects and places by which individuals, communities, and nations connect to their history and heritage.