WASHINGTON, DC - After President Trump repeated a threat to target Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliates for the killing of an Iranian general, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“We can defend our country without targeting historically significant cultural sites and needlessly endangering civilians.  

“America is better than that and President Trump is flat out wrong to threaten attacks on historic places of cultural heritage.  

“Destroying some of these culturally significant Iranian sites wouldn’t be seen as just an attack against the regime in Tehran, it could be construed as an attack on history and humanity.  President Trump needs to clarify his comments and Congress needs to make it clear on a bipartisan basis that we will not tolerate the targeting of ancient artifacts or be complicit in the destruction of historic world heritage sites.  Allowing this type of irresponsible bluster to go unchecked now will make despots more likely to target cultural sites in the future.

“America must always stand up for our people, values, and do what is right.  That includes speaking out against the president when he threatens to drag America down a dangerous path that would make our country less safe and rob future generations of their heritage and ancient history.”