Ratcheting up tensions across the Persian Gulf, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif warned Thursday that the result of any US or Saudi military strike against his country would result in an “all-out war”, Reuters quoted CNN as saying. “I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want war; we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation … But we won’t blink to defend our territory,” Zarif told CNN.
When asked by CNN what would be the consequence of the US or Saudi strike, the foreign minister said: “All-out war.”
Zarif’s comments come after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called an attack on Saudi oil installations an “act of war”. Pompeo called the attacks “unprecedented.” “The US stands with #SaudiArabia and supports its right to defend itself,” Pompeo said. The United States accuses Tehran of being behind the attack. Iran refutes these allegations.
Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed the attack, saying it is over the yearslong Saudi-led war there that’s killed tens of thousands of people. However, experts told The Associated Press the cruise missiles used in the assault did not have the range to have been launched from Yemen and reach their targets.
(With inputs from Reuters)