Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Boris Johnson cautions Donald Trump against bombing Iranian cultural sites

Mr Clarke said the UK should not align itself with US President Donald Trump in terms of a trade stance towards China.
Mr Clarke said the UK should not align itself with US President Donald Trump in terms of a trade stance towards China.

Boris Johnson has urged Donald Trump not to bomb cultural sites in Iran as the fallout from the US assassination of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s most senior general continued.

The plea came after President Trump threatened to hit 52 “high-value” cultural sites in Iran as tensions escalated following the death of general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Iraq on Friday.

The prime minister’s official spokesman pointed to the fact that cultural sites are protected under the terms of both the Hague Convention and Geneva Convention.

Asked whether Britain supports targeting cultural sites, the spokesman said: “There are international conventions in place to prevent the destruction of cultural heritage.”

Mr Johnson also spoke to Iraqi prime minister Abdul-Mahdi yesterday to urge calm.

Iraqi MPs responded to the strike by passing a parliamentary resolution which called for an end to any foreign military presence in their country.

About 400 British troops are stationed in Iraq, while the US has 5,200.

Downing Street yesterday urged the Iraqi government to allow foreign troops to remain in the country to fight against the continued threat posed by IS.

The prime minister’s spokesman said: “We urge the Iraqi government to ensure the coalition is able to continue our vital work countering this shared threat.”

He added: “The prime minister spoke to prime minster Abdul Mehdi of Iraq this morning.

“The leaders discussed the need to deescalate tensions in the region following the death of Qasem Soleimani and agreed to work together to find a diplomatic way forward.

“The prime minister underlined the UK’s unwavering commitment to Iraq’s stability and sovereignty and emphasised the importance of the continued fight against the shared threat from Daesh.”

Iran has so far responded by vowing revenge and announcing it will no longer abide by the restrictions in its 2015 nuclear deal.

The deal limited Iranian nuclear capacities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Following the regime’s proclamation, President Trump tweeted late on Sunday night: “Should Iran strike any US person or target, the United States will quickly and fully strike back and perhaps in a disproportionate manner.”

Meanwhile, retired army officer Sir Simon Vincent Mayall warned yesterday that British troops serving in the Middle East could “possibly” be killed in retaliatory attacks.

The lieutenant general told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the US and UK were “joined at the hip” in Iraq and casualties could be shared if Iran strikes back.

The Ministry of Defence adviser said: “I don’t think the British are any more vulnerable than the Americans in this case.

“But the Iranians are quite right. Because we’re so closely joined in this, any attack on American assets will inevitably, possibly, lead to to British casualties as well.”

Sir Simon said he expected British diplomats would be talking to their American counterparts on an “hourly basis” to discuss attempts to deescalate tensions.

In a swipe at President Trump’s approach to the crisis, he said: “I think they will be encouraging officials to remind the President all the time that the best way to go forward is with allies and friends and to try and stop this escalatory talk over the Twittersphere.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in