US President Donald Trump faced a lot of backlash for threatening to attack 52 sites in Iran, which included many cultural treasures of the Islamic country. Donald Trump has now backed away from his earlier insistence and said that he likes to obey international law. Trump's u-turn came after facing strong criticism from within his country and the United Nation's cultural organisation UNESCO. Trump while talking to the media said that he is okay with following international law.
Trump on January 5 issued a threat to Iran from his personal Twitter handle where he said that the United States will not hesitate in targeting some very high level and important assets of Iran, which includes Iranian cultural sites. Trump's threat came after Iran said they will target certain US assets in the Middle East and other parts of the world as revenge for killing top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. Trump while talking to reporters on Tuesday said, "Think of it: they kill our people, they blow up our people and then we have to be very gentle with their cultural institutions. But I'm OK with it. You know what, if that's what the law is, I like to obey the law."
....targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
United States Defence Secretary Mike Esper on Monday had backed away from Trump's unthinkable threat as he said that Washington will follow the laws of armed conflict. When asked if that includes Iranian cultural sites, Esper pointedly added, "That's the laws of armed conflict." United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended Trump's remark by saying that Tehran's action had done more harm to the country's culture that the United States had done. "Let me tell you who has done damage to the Persian culture. It's not the United States of America. It's the Ayatollah," Pompeo said targeting Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.