DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister warned Thursday that any attack on his country over a drone-and-missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry will result in “all-out war,” further pushing up tensions across the Persian Gulf.
The comments by Mohammad Javad Zarif represent the starkest warning offered yet by Iran in a long summer of mysterious attacks and incidents following the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, over a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord.
Zarif’s comments also appeared to be in response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who a day earlier while traveling to Saudi Arabia referred to the attack as an “act of war.”
Asked by CNN what would be the consequence of a U.S. or Saudi strike, Zarif said: “All-out war.”
It would cause “a lot of casualties,” he stressed.
“I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Zarif said. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”