China Blasts US Threat of Hitting Iranian Historical Sites

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing on May 13, 2018. - Iran's foreign minister arrived May 13 in Beijing on the first leg of a whirlwind diplomatic tour designed to try and rescue the nuclear deal left on the brink of collapse after the US pulled out. (Photo by THOMAS PETER / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read THOMAS PETER/AFP/Getty Images)
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BEIJING – Chinese Envoy to Tehran condemned President Donald Trump’s remarks on striking 52 Iranian sites, including historical sites, if Iran targets US citizens or assets to avenge Washington’s assassination of its seasoned general.

“World cultural heritage belongs to all humanity!” Chang Hua wrote on Twitter.

Beijing has also accused the US of having a destabilizing presence in the Middle East, describing growing animosity of the United States towards Iran as a threat to regional security. The US should not misuse its military power, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said during a press briefing on Monday, adding, “Power politics are neither popular nor sustainable.”

“The US’ risky military behavior in recent days goes against the basic norms of international relations,” he stressed.

China has been highly critical of the targeted strike, describing the assassination as a violation of international norms and deeply damaging to regional stability. In his tweet on Saturday, Trump said the targets represented 52 Americans who were held in Iran for acts of espionage following the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran by revolutionary students.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter Sunday to denounce Trump’s “new breaches of JUS COGENS”, referring to peremptory norms of international law.

“Targeting cultural sites is a WAR CRIME; – Whether kicking or screaming, end of US malign presence in West Asia has begun,” he stressed.

“Those masquerading as diplomats and those who shamelessly sat to identify Iranian cultural & civilian targets should not even bother to open a law dictionary,” he added.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and eight others were killed in a targeted assassination by US aircraft in Iraq’s Baghdad on Friday.

Iranian officials branded Washington’s assassination operation as an “act of international terrorism” and promised retaliation. Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has stated that the United States must await a tough vengeance.

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