An American or Saudi military strike on Iran because of the weekend attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure would result in an “all-out-war,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
“I’m making a very serious statement that we don’t want war, we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation, we believe that a military confrontation based on deception is awful,” Zarif said, adding “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”
On Saturday, the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia were hit by attacks, which resulted in the temporary suspension of 5.7 million bpd of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production, or around 5 percent of global daily oil supply.
U.S. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry all blamed Iran for the attack despite a statement from the Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels in Yemen who claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Referring to the attacks and the U.S. claim that they came from Iranian territory, Zarif told CNN:
“They are making that up, why do they want to make that up that it [attack on Saudi oil infrastructure] was from Iranian territory,” noting that it was the Yemenis who claimed responsibility for the attack.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday to discuss the attacks on the vital Saudi oil facilities.
“The U.S. stands with #SaudiArabia and supports its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated,” Secretary Pompeo tweeted after the meeting.
On Thursday, Iran’s Zarif tweeted “Remnants of #B_Team (+ambitious allies) try to deceive @realdonaldtrump into war. For their own sake, they should pray that they won’t get what they seek.”
Speaking to CNN, Zarif rejected the possibility of negotiations with the U.S. unless Iran receives full sanctions relief.