Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, accused President Trump of planning to commit a war crime against the Islamic Republic of Iran, echoing criticism leveled earlier by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Zarif was responding to Trump's threat to target 52 identified Iranian sites, some with cultural significance to Iran, should the Islamic Republic retaliate against the United States for the recent killing of Qasem Soleimani. Zarif described the killing of Soleimani as a breach in international law, claiming future attacks against culturally significant sites in Iran would constitute a war crime.
Those masquerading as diplomats and those who shamelessly sat to identify Iranian cultural & civilian targets should not even bother to open a law dictionary.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 5, 2020
Jus cogens refers to peremptory norms of international law, i.e. international red lines. That is, a big(ly) "no no".
Ocasio-Cortez similarly described Trump's threat to Iran as a "war crime" and called the president "a monster" for threatening to target Iran's cultural sites.
This is a war crime.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 5, 2020
Threatening to target and kill innocent families, women and children - which is what you’re doing by targeting cultural sites - does not make you a “tough guy.”
It does not make you “strategic.”
It makes you a monster. https://t.co/IjkNO8BD07
On Saturday, President Trump warned the Islamic Republic that any such attack would be met by retaliatory attacks from the United States on 52 identified Iranian targets. Trump said the targets symbolize the 52 Americans Iran took hostage during the Iranian hostage crisis, adding the targets include sites important to Iran and Iranian culture.
Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
....hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
The Democrats are doing the job of Iranian propagandists for them these days.