Friday, 22 November, 2019

Iran diplomat warns of ‘all-out war’ if hit for Saudi attack

Houthi Rebels
ABC News Houthi Rebels ABC News
Russell Knight | 20 September, 2019, 00:43

"But we won't blink to defend our territory", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told CNN in an interview.

Saudi and US officials have said that the drones and missiles used were made by Iran, had never before been deployed by Iranian proxy groups, and came from a northerly direction, ruling out Yemen as a launch site.

Pompeo repeated Trump's warning that Washington would impose further sanctions on Iran, which is already subject to a U.S. oil and banking embargo, arguing that they were effective in cutting Iranian financing for its regional allies and its missile programme.

"The Saudis either don't believe the Americans or don't want to believe the Americans, because they don't want to be saddled with the burden to respond militarily to Iran because they understand that in such a contest they would be toast", said Miller.

Visiting the United Arab Emirates, Pompeo however said his country would prefer a "peaceful" solution to the crisis.

Trump established the U.S. Cyber Command previous year to, among other things, "create very, very severe and powerful offensive threats, should we need them", he recently said at the White House.

Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks, which was claimed by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group.

Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia is leading a Sunni Arab coalition fighting the Houthis in the impoverished state on the tip of the Arabian peninsula - part of a regional proxy war between Tehran and Riyadh across the Middle East.

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"I make a very serious statement about defending our country", he said. "That's my mission, that's what President Trump certainly wants me to work to achieve and I hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it that way", Pompeo told reporters. He said separately Wednesday that he is moving to increase financial sanctions on Tehran over the attack, without elaborating. "I think it's abundantly clear and there is an enormous consensus in the region that we know precisely who conducted these attacks was Iran..."

Iran's Mr Zarif accused Mr Pompeo of trying to "dodge a United States obligation" to issue visas for Iran's United Nations delegates.

Eighteen drones and seven cruise missiles were launched in the assault, Al-Malki said, with three missiles failing to hit their targets.

It quoted Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry as saying the UAE joined the coalition to "ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy".

It's likely the United States already has some elements of the above in play against Iran, but it's also likely that those efforts could be escalated further. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that the Houthi claim "lacks credibility".

Iran has ruled out talks with Washington unless it returns to the pact.

But the trading unit of the Saudi oil firm, Aramco Trading, is trading non-Saudi crude as usual and isn't seeking more Iraqi crude, Bloomberg's sources said, adding that reports of a request for 20 million barrels from SOMO weren't correct.

"The original Harpy was essentially a very low-priced cruise missile", he told The Epoch Times. Iran denies being behind the tanker explosions, although the attacks came after Tehran threatened to stop oil exports from the Persian Gulf. He would not speculate on who was responsible, but reiterated that France sent its own experts to Saudi Arabia to investigate what happened.

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