Iranian FM warns US or Saudi attack would trigger 'all-out war'

Published September 19, 2019
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. — AFP/File
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. — AFP/File

Iran's foreign minister has said a military strike on Iran would trigger “all-out war”, as the United States and its Gulf allies accuse Iran of being behind attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

Asked about the consequence of “an American or Saudi military strike on Iran” in an interview with CNN aired on Thursday, Mohammad Javad Zarif responded: “An all-out war.”

“We don't want war, we don't want to engage in a military confrontation,” he said, warning it would lead to “a lot of casualties”.

“But we won't blink to defend our territory,” he added.

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for Saturday's strikes on Saudi oil infrastructures, but the US says it has concluded the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounts to “an act of war”.

Saudi Arabia, which has been bogged down in a five-year war in neighbouring Yemen, has said Iran “unquestionably sponsored” the attacks and the weapons used in them were Iranian-made, but has not directly blamed its regional rival.

“They're making that up,” said Zarif.

“Now they want to pin the blame on Iran, in order to achieve something, and that is why I'm saying this is agitation for war.”

“Because it's based on lies, it's based on deception,” he said.

The attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield halved the kingdom's oil output.

Iran has repeatedly denied US and Saudi accusations that it arms the Huthis.

Opinion

The rich boys
Updated 22 Sep 2021

The rich boys

Such is the toxic masculinity of these rich boys that no one is safe from it.
Going nuclear
22 Sep 2021

Going nuclear

Australia may regret its ‘forever partnership’ with the US.
Politics’ winged chariot
Updated 21 Sep 2021

Politics’ winged chariot

When others are shifting gears to election preparations, the PML-N is caught in its internal woes.

Editorial

22 Sep 2021

Interest rate hike

THE State Bank’s decision to raise its key interest rate by 25bps to 7.25pc underpins its acceptance of emerging...
PCB chief’s challenge
Updated 22 Sep 2021

PCB chief’s challenge

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has propelled fears of regional insecurity.
22 Sep 2021

No need for secrecy

THE government should not make a mountain out of the Toshakhana molehill. That would only encourage speculation of...
What’s the game?
21 Sep 2021

What’s the game?

Such brinkmanship is being fuelled by incendiary rhetoric as well as inflexible demands of a unilateral nature.
21 Sep 2021

Gas price hike

THE proposed hike of 24pc-37pc in the gas price of the top 23pc residential consumers, who account for 43pc of the...
21 Sep 2021

Green Line buses

AT long last, the first batch of vehicles for Karachi’s Green Line bus project arrived from China on Sunday,...