Iran FM Javad Zarif: “No Such Thing as “Limited Strike”, Any Strike by US or Saudi Will Result in All out War”

Zarif the superstar

Iran’s foreign minister has warned of “all-out war” in the event of US or Saudi military strikes against his country, and questioned whether Saudi Arabia was prepared to fight “to the last American soldier.”

Javad Zarif told CNN that Iran hoped to avoid conflict, adding that the country was willing to talk to its regional rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But Iran would not hold talks with the US unless Washington provided full relief from sanctions as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran’s top diplomat said.

He again denied that Iran was involved in weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the region. Zarif said Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attack, have stepped up their military capabilities and were capable of conducting a sophisticated operation such as the one that knocked out half of the kingdom’s energy production.

Probed further, however, Zarif was unable to provide proof that Houthis launched the drones and missiles. “I cannot have any confidence that they did it because we just heard their statement,” said Zarif. “I know that we didn’t do it. I know that the Houthis made a statement that they did it.”

US and Saudi officials have repeatedly dismissed Houthi claims of responsibility in the weekend attacks. Instead, they have pointed the finger at Iran.

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. He also said that investigations revealed that the drones and missiles were likely launched from the north of the kingdom, and not from the direction of Yemen, which lies southwest of the country.War drums have become louder since the attack. US President Donald Trump has called on Pentagon officials to plan potential responses. He tweeted that the US was “locked and loaded” but was waiting for Saudi Arabia’s rulers to decide on a path forward.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the first official to name Iran as the culprit, is in the Persian Gulf visiting Saudi and Emirati leaders.

Asked what the consequence of a US or Saudi military strike on Iran would be, Zarif said: “All-out war.”

“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” said Zarif. He added that a military response based on “deception” about the weekend attacks would cause “a lot of casualties.”

“But we won’t blink to defend our territory,” he said.

Zarif added, in a reference to how Saudi Arabia’s critics believe Riyadh relies on the US to fight on its behalf: “I think it is important for Saudi government to understand what they are trying to achieve. Do they want to fight Iran until the last American soldier? Is that their aim?”

Returning to the negotiating table

In the interview, Zarif dismissed the possibility of negotiating with the Trump administration, unless the US were to give Iran the full sanctions relief promised under the nuclear deal.

Trump pulled out of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018. He has since imposed more than 1,000 individual sanctions on Tehran, which culminated with an oil embargo this May. Zarif himself is also sanctioned.

“(The JCPOA) is an agreement that we reached with the United States. Why should we renegotiate? Why should we start something else which may again be invalid in a year and a half,” said Zarif.

Sanctions relief, however, could change Tehran’s calculations, opening the possibility for talks.

“If they lift the sanctions that they re-imposed illegally then that’s a different situation,” said Zarif. “Then we would consider (talks).”

US sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy, causing the currency to plummet and prices to soar. The economy has contracted and food and medical shortages are rampant. “They’ve done whatever they could and they haven’t been able to bring us to our knees,” said Zarif.

Zarif is set to accompany President Hassan Rouhani on a visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month. Rouhani, however, has said that he may cancel his appearance if visas for his delegation are not issued imminently.

“(The US) haven’t issued visas for the advanced team of our President. That makes it very difficult for him to go,” said Zarif. Asked if time has already run out, he added: “Well I am not saying too late but it is very near too late.”

Earlier this year, Zarif announced a shock resignation that he quickly walked back on. In the interview, the Iranian top diplomat said the incident was not “personal” and that he rescinded his resignation when he was “publicly assured” that he was still “in charge” of the country’s foreign policy.

 

Iran’s top diplomat — who spent several years in the United States as a student and later as UN ambassador — said he misses little about the country that now has him on its sanctions list. But he says he longs for the days of “rational” policymaking.

“What I miss is rationality. What I miss is prudence. I think the US deserves to be more rational,” said Zarif.

Source: CNN

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ArcAngel
ArcAngel
3 months ago

CNN? I could careless what this disgusting vile propaganda war-machine has to spew. I glanced the article due to its subject Mr Zarif.
Don’t read or care what ANYBODY has to say or spew on “twatter’.

This is a perfect example of CNN vile ‘bullsheet’….
CNN- “Probed further, however, Zarif was unable to provide proof that Houthis launched the drones and missiles.” Dishonest and obfuscating. I had to laugh at CNN’s stupidity.
OF COURSE it is not up to Iran to PROVE anything.
It is up to the psychopathic Saudis to PROVE the perpetrator/s and at this point in time, EVERYBODY knows the House of Saud is a gang of psycho and sociopaths who couldn’t speak the truth if their lives depended on it.
The Saudis are screwed, no believes them, except CNN and Pompas, and even if they come up with some “evidence” (conjured up) against Iran, NO ONE accept it or will believe them.
Saudi Ministry of Defense spokesman Turki al-Malki has proven himself to be an idiotic clown.
The threat of all out war by Zarif has got the blood thirsty warmongers twitching.

Mikhail Garchenko
Mikhail Garchenko
3 months ago

https://thesaker.is/iran-vs-saudi-arabia-its-game-over/
“GAME-OVER”. The rest is just more “blah-blah-blah”.

Mary E
3 months ago

The UN should not be located in the US, especially when the US does not allow certain dignitaries belonging to the UN to enter their country. Isn’t the UN building a foreign territory in the US? Because Washington doesn’t like what Iran is doing (and just what it that, pray tell?), they are refusing to let them go to the UN!! That doesn’t make the least bit of sense…and should not be allowed.

justanavgjoe2
justanavgjoe2
3 months ago

THE BS zone: ”
Probed further, however, Zarif was unable to provide proof that Houthis launched the drones and missiles.”Really? Its CNN and the rest of the MSM throwing accusations around. How about the accuser providing the evidence. This is what sickens me about the Western press. It seems to think its up to others to prove their innocence when its the other way around. You’re innocent until proven guilty. Go fly a kite CNN!

Mary E
3 months ago
Reply to  justanavgjoe2

Totally agree with that starement….let the msm news organizations, which are pro-US administration – prove what they are writing….news organizations are of the belief that they can write anything and it will become true…so so false!

jm74
jm74
3 months ago

Could be a mistake for the Iranians to go to the US, trump may just pull another stunt like having them arrested on terrorist charges. Iran should send low level diplomats because the UN meeting won’t accomplish anything useful anyway.

Mary E
3 months ago
Reply to  jm74

As suggested earlier, the UN should NOT be located in the US!
It should be in a non-combative country. The only reason the UN building is in the US is that the US wanted to create a world organization that it could eventually control….but now that the US is considered a rogue state besides being the worst terrorist in the world, there is good reason to move the UN….

jm74
jm74
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary E

UN is a hostage to the US by being located in the US and a majority of the funds come from the US. Be interesting to see what happens when the US dollar collapses and the US gets there arse kicked out of the ME.

John C Carleton
John C Carleton
3 months ago
Andrew Earl
Andrew Earl
3 months ago

so what? american made weapons are found in every war all over the world!

Anti-Empire