Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday threatened “all-out war” to the “last American soldier” if the United States retaliates for last weekend’s attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities by Iran and/or its proxies in Yemen, the Houthis.
Zarif claimed during a CNN interview that Iran wants to avoid conflict, but will not negotiate with the United States until all sanctions against Iran are unilaterally withdrawn.
“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I’m making a very serious statement that we don’t want war. I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I’m making a very serious statement that we don’t want war. We believe that a military confrontation based on deception is awful, will have a lot of casualties, but we won’t blink to defend our territory,” Zarif said.
Zarif claimed that efforts to “pin the blame on Iran” for the attacks was “agitation for war” based on “lies.”
“Why do they want to make that up that it was from Iranian territory? The Yemenis have announced responsibility,” he said, referring to the widely disputed claim of responsibility made by the Houthis.
“I cannot have any confidence that they did it because we just heard their statement,” he added when reminded of the growing body of evidence that the Houthis could not have launched the attack. “I know that we didn’t do it. I know that the Houthis made a statement that they did it.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday that Iran perpetrated an “act of war” by attacking the Saudi facilities and dismissed Houthi claims of responsibility as “fraudulent.”
Pompeo met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss the attacks and declared America’s support for Saudi Arabia’s “right to defend itself.”
“The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated,” he said.