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Elected officials and local experts react to President Trump’s tweets threatening the middle east

A local Iran Human rights leader tells FOX61 President Trump’s tweets are unbecoming, but the problem in Iran started way before President Trump was elected. &#...

A local Iran Human rights leader tells FOX61 President Trump’s tweets are unbecoming, but the problem in Iran started way before President Trump was elected.

"Our situation is that we’ve been under a horrible government for the past 40 years, so it’s not something that’s particularly new," said Shahin Milani, the Executive Director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center in New Haven. "On the other hand, of course this threat of a military conflict adds to our concerns. Currently, they’re very high."

Milani says he can’t speak for the 80 million Iranians who are currently awaiting the United States’ next move, but he is concerned.

"I am concerned that things could escalate, but as I said before the primary issue is lack of democracy and lack of respect for human rights in Iran," said Milani.

Local Elected officials say the United States government needs start following diplomatic processes.

"Diplomacy actually saves lives. Diplomacy saves the lives of not only our community, our people, our veterans, our soldiers, but it also saves lives of civilians in other parts of the world. So we need to focus on that," said State Senator Saud Anwar.

Civil Rights activists at the Council on American-Islamic Relations say people need to know and protect their rights.

"The great thing about this country is we are a nation of laws and procedures," said Tark Aouadi, the Executive Director of CAIR-CT. "No matter what happens, there will be a procedure in place to properly deal with these situations and make sure that everybody receives their fair shake. So, the idea is not to be alarmed, but to know your rights."

President Trump in a series of tweets Saturday saying that the US has targeted 52 Iranian sites for attack should Iran attack and Americans or American assets.

"We actually need to realize that cultural centers are not about a country; it’s about humanity, about humans all over the planet," said Senator Anwar. "We need to preserve each and every place that’s cultural within our society and other societies."

After the White House released information on the US operation killing Iranian Military Commander Qasem Soleimani, President Trump's tweets say if Iran threatens the United States, that Iran “will be hit very fast and very hard.”

"There was a better understanding that the US had developed with Iran and we had a nuclear agreement with them and that is all gone down the drain right now," said Senator Anwar.

Historic preservation attorney, Sara Bronin, said "if Trump makes good on his threat, it would be a violation of international and U.S. law, and it would be morally reprehensible because he would be severing a connection to a past that really belongs to all of us."

The United Nations says the United States and Iran had signed conventions to protect cultural heritage, including during conflict. Senator Chris Murphy said targeting cultural sites is a war crime.

Milani says Iranians are now being targeted by two governments.

"On one hand they’re being suppressed by the Iranian government, but also the President’s tweets saying that the US military might possibly strike sites of cultural importance, that’s really concerning as well," said Milani. "I think people are justifiably concerned about that."