Former Trump envoy: Threat to attack Iranian cultural sites is ‘not only unacceptable,’ but also ‘unAmerican’
Brett McGurk, testifies in Congress in this 2016 file photo. (AFP/File / MANDEL NGAN)

One of the international rules governing military actions is that cultural sites are off limits when it comes to attacks and airstrikes. President Donald Trump, however, has threatened to attack Iranian cultural sites, and foreign affairs expert Brett McGurk is calling him out for it.


McGurk, a lecturer at Stanford University and a former Trump envoy to the Coalition to Defeat ISIS, tweeted, “Trump’s comments tonight regarding Iran and Iraq are not only unacceptable, they’re unAmerican.” McGurk went on to explain, “American military forces adhere to international law. They don’t attack cultural sites. And they’re not mercenaries.”

Saturday on Twitter, Trump threatened, “Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, 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 & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”

Trump has drawn a great deal of criticism for those comments, but has doubled down on them and reiterated that possible attacks on Iranian cultural sites are not off the table.