Any U.S. or Saudi military strike against Iran would bring “all-out war”, Tehran said on Thursday, keeping up a drumbeat of warnings to its adversaries after they accused the Islamic Republic of a strike on Saudi oil facilities.
The United States has been discussing with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies possible responses to Saturday’s attack, which they blame on Iran and which U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as an act of war on the kingdom.
“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,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told CNN in an interview. Asked what the consequence of an American or a Saudi military strike on Iran would be, Zarif said “an all-out war”.
Zarif earlier warned on Twitter that what he described as the B team – including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman – was deceiving U.S. President Donald Trump into a war against Iran. Meanwhile, a senior advisor to Iran’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Gulf countries to “come to their senses”, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Trump struck a cautious note on Wednesday. He said there were many options short of war with Iran, which denies involvement in the Sept. 14 strikes that initially halved Saudi oil output. He ordered more sanctions on Tehran. Iran denies involvement in the Sept. 14 attack that initially halved Saudi oil output and which Pompeo earlier called an “act of war” against the world’s largest oil exporter.