January 08, 2020

Senator Duckworth Joins Colleagues to Introduce Anti-War Crimes Resolution That Denounces Trump Threats to Attack Iranian Cultural Sites


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and five of her colleagues to introduce a Senate resolution condemning Trump’s threats to attack cultural sites in Iran and demanding the President refrain from violating the laws of armed conflict. The resolution responds to President Donald Trump’s repeated threats on Twitter and in a press conference that the United States would make cultural sites a target of attack if conflict with Iran escalates. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has contradicted the President and said that the Pentagon would not violate the laws of armed conflict by attacking Iranian cultural sites. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) also signed on to the resolution.

“When Donald Trump cites the dishonorable tactics of our enemies to justify his calls for the United States to commit war crimes, he reveals his deep disrespect for the rule of law, his disdain for good order and discipline and utter ignorance of military values,” said Senator Duckworth. “That’s one of the reasons I’m joining my colleagues to introduce a resolution sending a clear message to the White House that they will be held accountable by Congress if they continue down this dangerous path.”

The resolution highlights that Article 53 of Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions prohibits any act of hostility against cultural objects, that the destruction of cultural sites violates the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and that the Department of Defense Law of War Manual states that “[c]ultural property, the areas immediately surrounding it, and appliances in use for its protection should be safeguarded and respected”.

A copy of the Senate resolution can be found HERE.