Saturday, 01 February, 2020

“Trump’s Remarks Most Brazen Example of Racist Nationalism”

Addressing a conference on safeguarding the common heritage of mankind, held in Tehran on Monday, Zarif took a swipe at the US administration for threatening military strike against Iranian cultural sites.

“Today, with the spread of extremist and racist nationalism in the West, we are witnessing an increasing role played by the demagogues who mock the human civilization and culture in defiance of all legal and moral principles, insult the religious values and faiths of billions of humans, burn their holy books, and spare no effort to incite hatred, violence and wars,” he deplored.

“The most blatant example is the measures and comments from the current president of the US regime, who has threatened the Iranian people and culture and has violated the fundamental rules and principles of international law, including the prohibition of threat or use of force,” he added, pointing to Trump’s threat of military attack on 52 sites in Iran, including cultural centers.

Zarif had already denounced the US president’s military threats against Iran, saying any targeting of cultural sites would constitute a war crime.

Earlier this month, Trump warned Iran that a strike on “any Americans” or “American assets”, in retaliation for the assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, would result in the US targeting 52 sites — including “Iranian culture” sites.

But deliberately targeting cultural sites or cultural heritage sites could amount to a war crime under international law.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the international community’s passivity on Washington’s policies has encouraged the US president to pursue his bullying approaches more blatantly, noting that Donald Trump’s threats against the Iranian culture signify his “hatred stemming from lowliness”.

In an address to a conference on safeguarding the cultural centres and the common heritage of mankind, held in Tehran on Monday, Zarif said unilateralism and law-breaking is as dangerous as tolerating them.

“Unfortunately, the passive stances of the countries and the international organizations in countering (US President Donald) Trump’s law-breaking and unilateralism have emboldened him in pursuing a bullying approach in the world,” Zarif deplored.

Passive unilateralism encourages active unilateralism, he noted, warning that the countries which have given in to Trump’s law-breaking and unilateral policies in order to fend off the US harms have indeed prepared the ground for the US president to bully them.

The foreign minister also slammed the recent threat of military attacks on 52 Iranian sites, including the cultural centres, from the US president as the most brazen example of extremism, racism and promotion of hatred and violence.

“The US president’s threat of destroying Iran’s cultural and civilizational centres is a clear example of international ‘cultural terrorism’, and is a continuation of the US regime’s law-breaking to break the Iranian people’s resistance,” Zarif noted.

“Trump’s threats incarnate the hatred stemming from lowliness, a hatred not only for Iran and the rich Iranian culture, but for culture, civilization and anything representing peace and stability,” Zarif added.

“While Trump calls the civilized and cultural nation of Iran ‘terrorist’ with his racist attitude, he brazenly announces it to the world that his regime is by no means committed to the principles and red lines of the international law, including the prohibition of racism and prohibition of discrimination,” the top Iranian diplomat added.

Zarif finally noted that the US regime has repeatedly proved that it does not believe in dialogue and does not honour its previous and current commitments either.

“The (American) hostility towards culture is not even hostility to a single nation, but hostility towards and battle against the common cultural values and the civilizational achievements of various nations of the world,” he concluded.

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