Iran warns of war as U.S. continues accusations it bombed Saudi oil refinery
A boy waits for food supplies provided by the World Food Programme at a school in Sanaa, Yemen, Aug. 25, 2019. A years-long Saudi bombing campaign has left tens of thousands dead and inflicted famine on the country. The U.N. humanitarian chief in Yemen warned recently that unless significant new funding is received in the coming weeks, food rations for 12 million people will be reduced and at least 2.5 million malnourished children will be cut off from life-saving services. | Hani Mohammed / AP

Iran has warned the U.S. that any aggression will be met with an immediate response, as Washington continues to insist the nation was responsible for missiles fired at a Saudi oil refinery.

Tehran dismissed claims by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Iran had been involved in the attack on Saturday, which had caused a partial halt in crude and gas production from the world’s top oil exporter.

Iran responded to the claims in a note sent to Washington via the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Monday evening, Iranian television reported today.

It warned that any U.S. action would be met with an immediate response which would not be limited to the source of the act of aggression.

Early Thursday morning, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif went further, saying that any attack on his country by the U.S. or its Gulf allies would result in “all-out war.” He appeared to be responding to comments by Pompeo yesterday that the weekend drone attack in Saudi Arabia amounted to an “act of war” by Iran.

“I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Zarif told CNN. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”

He also said that sanctions placed on Iran by the U.S. after the latter pulled out of the nuclear deal would need to be lifted in order for any negotiations to take place.

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On Saturday, Yemeni armed forces claimed to have conducted the large-scale operation against Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil installations in response to the Saudi-led war on their country.

A Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, which began in March 2015, has been backed by U.S. military hardware and tactical support. Along with an illegal blockade of the port of Hodeida, it has left Yemen on the brink of the world’s worst famine in a century.

A satellite image from Planet Labs Inc. shows thick black smoke rising from Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. | Planet Labs Inc via AP

UNICEF has warned that Yemen presents the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 24 million people—some 80% of its population—are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children.

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement immediately took credit for the attacks. But Trump said the U.S. was “locked and loaded” for a response against Iran at the behest of Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s Defense Minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, insisted today that the Yemeni attacks on the Saudi oil facilities were a legitimate act of self-defense by Yemen.

“It’s pretty clear: there has been a conflict between two countries [Yemen and Saudi Arabia]. One party to the conflict is the Yemenis, who have said explicitly that they have done this,” he said.

In the United Arab Emirates to pull that country into the U.S.-Saudi coalition, Pompeo tweeted on Wednesday: “The U.S. stands with #SaudiArabia and supports its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated.”

So far, Trump has been non-committal about taking specific military action. He and another ally, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have continued to talk about the need for a joint “diplomatic response.”

An earlier version of this article was first published by Morning Star. It has been supplemented with material reported by the Associated Press.


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The Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.

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