Iran has through its foreign Minister on Thursday threatened that any attack by the United States or Saudi Arabia on Iran will result in an “all-out war”, Aljazeera reports.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comments as tensions in the Gulf continue rise after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure halted the production of about five percent of the world’s oil supply.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for Saturday’s strikes on Saudi’s oil facilities, but the United States alleged the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounts to “an act of war”.
The US has said its military is “locked and loaded” to respond against the perpetrators.
“We don’t want war, we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” said Zarif told CNN on Thursday, noting it would lead to “a lot of casualties”.
“But we won’t blink to defend our territory,” he added.
Asked about the consequence of “an American or Saudi military strike on Iran”, Zarif responded: “An all-out war.”
Saudi Arabia, which has been bogged down in a bloody five-year conflict in neighbouring Yemen, said on Wednesday that Iran “unquestionably sponsored” the attacks and the weapons used were Iranian-made – but did not directly blame its regional rival.
“They’re making that up,” Zarif responded. “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.”
Iran has repeatedly denied US and Saudi accusations of its involvement in Saturday’s strikes, saying the Houthis hit the oil facilities in response to the Saudi-Emirati-led military coalition’s ongoing attacks in Yemen.
The strikes on Saudi energy giant Aramco’s Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield halved the kingdom’s oil output.
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.
“They [US and Saudi Arabia] have realised that playing with the tail of a lion is highly dangerous and that if they take action against Iran at any time, they know there will be no tomorrow for them in the region,” Fars quoted Hossein Dehghan as saying.