Iranian Foreign Minister Says U.S. Military Strike Means ‘All-Out War’

Mairead McArdle

Iran warned Thursday that a U.S. military strike would result in an “all-out war” with the state terror sponsor that would result in “a lot of casualties.”

“What would be the consequence of an American or Saudi military strike on Iran right now?” CNN correspondent Nick Paton Walsh asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an interview.

“An all-out war,” Zarif said.

“You make a very serious statement there, sir,” Walsh told the diplomat.

“Well, I make a very serious statement about defending our country,” Zarif said. “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. We’ll have a lot of casualties. But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”

President Trump warned over the weekend that the U.S. is “locked and loaded” to respond to military the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities that knocked out half the country’s oil production.

Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has explicitly blamed Iran. Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the high-tech attacks. Pompeo dismissed the claim, saying there is “no evidence” of Yemen’s involvement.

The attacks were approved by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, U.S. officials said.

Pompeo met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Thursday to discuss the attacks against his country’s oil infrastructure. 

“The U.S. stands with #SaudiArabia and supports its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated,” the secretary of state said of the meeting.

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