Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that US President Donald Trump’s threats to attack various targets in Iran, many of them on the UNESCO World Heritage list, amount to cultural terrorism.
"The US president’s threats to destroy cultural objects in Iran amount to international cultural terrorism," IRNA news agency quotes him as saying. "This is a continuation of Washington’s [policy] aimed to violate international law in order to break the resistance of the Iranian people."
According to the minister, "on the one hand, [the US] uses economic terrorism to restrict access of the Iranian people to food and medicine." "On the other hand, they use state terrorism, killing one of the most beloved figures in the country and in the region — General Qasem Soleimani," he stated.
Zarif’s comment came in response to the statement made by US President Donald Trump on January 4, in which he said that the US would strike 52 targets in Iran, with many of them of key importance for Iran and the Iranian culture, in response to any potential attack by Iran, TASS reports.
Tensions in the Middle East escalated following a US drone strike near Baghdad's airport on January 3, which killed General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. On January 5, Iran announced the final stage of reducing its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. In the early hours of January 8, Iran carried out missile strikes on Iraq’s Ain Al-Asad air base and a facility in Erbil, which house US troops, in retaliation for the attack.