Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif threatened that an “all-out war” would result from a military strike on Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia in response to last weekend’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I’m making a very serious statement that we don’t want war,” Zarif told CNN in an interview that aired Thursday.

“We don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” he continued. “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.”

Administration officials have blamed Iran for drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called the assault “an act of war” against the kingdom, while President Donald Trump announced he had directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “to substantially increase” economic sanctions on Tehran in retaliation.

The Saudi military on Wednesday presented the remains of Iranian cruise missiles and drones it alleged were deployed in the aerial strike, and Col. Turki Maliki said the attacks were “unquestionably sponsored by Iran.”

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed credit for the attacks, while officials in Tehran have denied involvement. In his interview with CNN, Zarif continued to insist that the Islamic Republic was not behind the disruption of the international crude oil supply.

Source » politico