RNA - Araqchi on Sunday summoned the Swiss ambassador, whose country represents Washington’s interests in Iran, to convey the Islamic Republic’s firm dismissal of Trump’s threatening language by describing his latest anti-Iran threats as “utterly unacceptable and unconventional.”
Referring to Trump’s threat to strike Iran’s cultural sites, the Iranian official said, “Such a threat is reminiscent of the Mongols’ invasion or the actions of terrorist and criminal groups in the destruction of cultural and historical sites, which according to international law, amount to war crime.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not bow to any threat or intimidation and stands firmly ready to respond to any threat or act against its [national] security and territorial integrity.”
In a Saturday tweet, the White House tenant claimed that the US military would hit “very important” targets related to Iran if the Islamic Republic seeks retaliation.
“… 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,” Trump tweeted, making a reference to the 1979 US embassy incident in Tehran.
The threat came after Iranian authorities said they would give a harsh response to the US strikes that led to the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad early on Friday.
Saying history has shown that the Iranian nation will make any aggressor regret their acts, Araqchi added, “In line with the demands of the Iranian government and nation, the Islamic Republic, apart from all the political and legal measures, reserves the absolute right to react to the assassination of the martyred commander, Qassem Soleimani, at a time and place that it deems appropriate.”
The Swiss ambassador, in turn, said he would convey Iran’s protest to US officials.
Trump’s new threat to strike 52 important targets in Iran, including the cultural ones, provoked a strong backlash, with many calling it a “war crime.”
Reacting to Trump's tweet later on Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also took to his official Twitter account reminding Trump that although “barbarians have come and ravaged our cities, razed our monuments and burnt our libraries” throughout history, Iranians still stand tall.
Zarif also drew an analogy between Trump's assertions and Daesh’s crimes in destroying cultural heritage of some regional countries, noting that the US president is “hallucinating about emulating ISIS war crimes by targeting our cultural heritage.”
A reminder to those hallucinating about emulating ISIS war crimes by targeting our cultural heritage:
Through MILLENNIA of history, barbarians have come and ravaged our cities, razed our monuments and burnt our libraries.
Where are they now?
We’re still here, & standing tall.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 5, 2020
General Soleimani, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), was assassinated in a US airstrike in Baghdad during the early hours of Friday. Four other Iranians and four more Iraqis in their company were also martyred.
The Pentagon said in a statement that Trump had ordered the US military to assassinate the Iranian commander.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Friday that those who assassinated the commander must await a harsh revenge.