Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is blaming Iran for last weekend’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities, describing them as an “act of war.” Pompeo was speaking from Jeddah, where he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the airstrikes which heavily damaged one of the world’s biggest oil processing facilities. Pompeo’s visit came as Saudi military officials in Riyadh showed reporters remnants of what they described as Iranian drones and cruise missiles, saying they could not have been launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, even though Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iran has denied responsibility, but Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN his nation was prepared to defend itself against any attack by the U.S. or its allies.
Nick Paton Walsh: “What would be the consequence of an American or Saudi military strike on Iran now?”
Javad Zarif: “An all-out war.”
Nick Paton Walsh: “You make a very serious statement, minister.”
Javad Zarif: “Well, I make a very serious statement about defending our country. 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, will have a lot of casualties. But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”
Senate Democrats have warned Trump against any attack on Iran, saying he would need authorization from Congress. The President said Wednesday he has imposed new sanctions on Iran — though the White House, Treasury and State Department haven’t released any details.