Saudi-US possible attack on Iran would trigger all-out war: FM Zarif

Still lots to sort out before any Rouhani Trump meeting France

Still lots to sort out before any Rouhani Trump meeting France

Trump has said there were many options short of war with Iran and has ordered the U.S. Treasury to "substantially increase sanctions" on Tehran.

"An all-out war", Zarif responded.

Pompeo wrote his tweet early Thursday after his meeting with Prince Mohammed over Saturday's drone and cruise missile attack on a crucial oil processing facility and oil field.

"[The Saudis] want to pin the blame on Iran in order to achieve something and that is why I'm saying this is agitation for war. Is that their aim?" Do they want to fight Iran until the last American soldier?

Asked by CNN what would be the effect of a USA or Saudi strike, Zarif said: "All-out war".

Zarif said: "I know that we didn't do it". We don't want to engage in a military confrontation.

The formal memo sent on Monday through the Swiss embassy, which represents USA interests in Tehran, "emphasised that Iran has not played any role in this attack", the official IRNA news agency said.

Iran news also quoted the foreign minister warning of "a lot of casualties" in the event of any military response based on "deception". He refused to say, however, whether he believed Iran directly carried out the operation.

"There are still those today who think, 'Boy, if we just give Iran just a little bit more money they'll become a peaceful nation, '" he said. If it can get away with downing a United States aircraft, why can't it get away with attacking Saudi territory?

Pompeo was to next visit the United Arab Emirates to meet with Abu Dhabi's powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It is no surprise that after that hesitation, Iran doubled down, launching an attack against Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil facility.

Already frayed US-Iran ties deteriorated further when Trump quit the nuclear pact and reimposed sanctions, severely hurting the Iranian economy.

Iran is already subject to a crushing United States sanctions program targeting its crucial oil industry.

US and Saudi officials rejected the claim, saying the attack had not come from the south. United Nations experts monitoring sanctions on Iran and Yemen also left for the kingdom, Saudi's UN envoy told Reuters.

The attacks knocked out over half of active Saudi crude production and severely limited the country's spare capacity, a cushion for oil markets in any unplanned outage.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged all countries in the Gulf to sit down for talks to defuse tensions and said groundless accusations against Iran over the attacks were inflaming tensions, Interfax news agency reported. But as tensions have risen, the US has put increasing restrictions on Iranians like Zarif.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Saudi Ministry of Defense spokesman Turki al-Malki said weapons that missed their targets were found to be Iranian-made.

Remains of the missiles the Saudi government claims were used to attack an Aramco oil facility are displayed during a news conference on Wednesday.

They've supplied and trained their Houthi allies in Yemen to launch almost 100 drone strikes against Saudi targets. Three officials said they involved cruise missiles and drones, indicating more complexity and sophistication than initially thought. That opinion was shared by weapons experts who spoke to The Associated Press.

"This is not very credible, relatively speaking", he told CNews television on Thursday. It was one thing when Iran downed a U.S. drone in June over the Persian Gulf and got away with it.

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