Advertisement

Iran says 'all out war' could result from U.S. military action

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Last weekend's drone attacks targeted the Khurais oil field, pictured, near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. File Photo courtesy Ali Haider/EPA-EFE
Last weekend's drone attacks targeted the Khurais oil field, pictured, near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. File Photo courtesy Ali Haider/EPA-EFE

Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Iran's foreign minister promised Thursday that any military action by the United States or Saudi Arabia in response to oil attacks last weekend would cause "all out war."

Javad Zarif told CNN Iran wants to avoid war in the region and is open to talks with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Advertisement

"I made a very serious statement about defending our country," Zarif said. "I am making a very serious statement that we don't want to engage in a military confrontation. But we we won't blink to defend our territory."

The remarks are a response to Saudi and U.S. accusations that Tehran was responsible for drone attacks last Saturday against two oil-producing areas of Saudi Arabia -- strikes that disrupted the nation's oil output this week.

Iran denies it was involved in the attacks, but Saudi officials presented what they called "material" proof of Tehran's complicity. Wednesday, they displayed what they said were charred pieces of drones and missiles that belonged to Iran.

"I know that we didn't do it. I know that the [Houthi rebels] made a statement that they did it," Zarif added.

Advertisement

Although the Yemen-based rebels claimed responsibility, U.S. have officials said they don't have the capability to carry out such attacks.

Iranian officials submitted a letter to the Swiss embassy in Tehran denouncing comments from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who Wednesday called the attacks an "act of war." The letter threatens that "any moves" against Iran will be met with an immediate response that won't be limited to the "source of threat."

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered sanctions against Iran Wednesday and said earlier this week that the United States is "locked and loaded" to go after whomever was responsible.

The row with the United States has cast doubt about whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will attend the United Nations General Assembly next week. The U.S. government has not yet issued travel visas to the Iranian delegation.

Latest Headlines