European allies of the United States are warning President Donald Trump against taking military action against Iran, stating that the only organization, governmental or otherwise, that could benefit from a war between the two nations would be terrorists in the Middle East and beyond.
“We are concerned that, if we see a full-blown war, it would be very damaging and actually the terrorists…would be the only winners,” United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, per reporting from Business Insider. Raab also called for a de-escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran, following a U.S. airstrike last week that killed an important Iranian military leader, and Iran’s promise to get “revenge” for the attack.
French leaders also emphasized the need for cooler heads to prevail, warning about the threat that terrorism could rise as a result of a war — and indeed, threaten Europe itself as a result.
“[T]he instability in the Mideast today benefits only one organization: the Islamic State group,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, adding that such a war would inevitably “increase the terrorist threat over France and Europe.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed disappointment with European allies after they voiced concern that the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani could trigger further violence. https://t.co/MVSgh1tqSj
— Michael Brown (@45needstogo1) January 7, 2020
Over the weekend, as hostile words were exchanged between Trump and other leaders in Iran, the president suggested that the administration was targeting up to 52 Iranian sites in the event of a needed retaliatory strike. Some of those sites, Trump added, included important cultural landmarks, a threat that goes against the Geneva Conventions and, if carried out, could be considered a war crime.
A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated on Monday the seriousness of such kinds of attacks.
“There are international conventions in place that prevent the destruction of cultural heritage,” the spokesperson said. “You can read the international conventions for themselves. It is the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.”