- Questioned on the outcome of a US or Saudi military strike on Iran, Zarif responded, "all-out war."
- Yesterday, Trump ordered his Treasury Secretary to "significantly increase" sanctions against Iran.
- Zarif also accused Pompeo of blocking visas to the Iranian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.
Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said today that it would be “all-out war” if Saudi Arabia or the United States dared to carry out a military attack on Iran. The already frosty relationship between the US and Iran has escalated in recent days, following attacks on two Saudi oil plants that Washington and Riyadh have attributed to Tehran. However, Tehran has maintained its innocence in as far as the attack is concerned, and it denies any involvement in any way whatsoever.
Questioned on the outcome of a US or Saudi military strike on Iran, Zarif responded, “all-out war.” Zarif elaborated, “I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation.” He added that a military response based on “deception” about the weekend attacks would cause “a lot of casualties.” However, “we won’t blink to defend our territory,” he added.
The Iranian Foreign Minister was apparently responding to American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who had earlier described the attacks an “act of war” by Iran. Pompeo, in an apparent response said, we need a “peaceful solution” for the conflict with Iran. “We are here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution. That’s my mission, that’s what President Trump certainly wants me to work to achieve, and I hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it that way,” Pompeo told news reporters during his Saudi Arabia visit.
Yesterday, Trump ordered his Treasury Secretary to “significantly increase” sanctions against Iran following the attacks on Saudi oil plants last weekend. It wasn’t clear, however, what sanctions Trump meant by that. This morning, in a tweet, Zarif called Trump’s decision “economic terrorism, illegal and inhumane.”
Relations between the United States and Iran have greatly deteriorated lately. Tehran has rejected any talks with the US unless sanctions are lifted. “The United States is now using oil as a weapon; oil is not a weapon,” Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s Minister of Petroleum, was quoted earlier as saying.
Despite the Yemeni Houthi rebels having claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on the Saudi oil plants, the US and Saudi Arabia are still blaming Iran. Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Minister is also accusing the United States of refusing to give visas to the Iranian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York.
According to Zarif, Pompeo is engineering the refusal to give out the visas personally. Secretary Pompeo “tries to dodge US obligation to issue visas for UN delegates by resorting to self-arrogated designations,” Zarif wrote on Twitter. He compared his delegation to Nelson Mandela, who was “on the American terrorist list until 2008.”