The foreign minister of Iran Javad Zarif sat down for an interview with CNN to discuss the weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. He stated it would be an “all-out war” if Saudi Arabia or the United States would attack Iran. They sent out the threat that Iran would fight “to the last American Soldier.” Zarif stated they wanted to avoid a war at all cost and are willing to talk to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to resolve the issues peacefully. Tehran’s diplomat told CNN unless the U.S. lifted the sanctions entirely, then, and only then would they discuss a resolution with the U.S. He claimed the possibilities are slim to none if this stipulation is not met.
Zarif said Tehran was not responsible for the attacks on Saudi Arabia. He said, “Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attack, have stepped up their military capabilities and are capable of conducting a sophisticated operation such as the one that knocked out half of the kingdom’s energy production.” As the questions went deeper, Zarif was not able to come up with proof Houthis is responsible for the attack. He stated, “I cannot have any confidence that they did it because we just heard their statement. I know that we didn’t do it. I know that the Houthis made a statement that they did it.”
It is alleged Iran was involved in the attack, and Saudi Arabia and the U.S. dismissed the claims Houthi was responsible. Wednesday, Saudi Ministry of Defense spokesman Turki al-Malki told reporters, “Weapons that missed their targets were found to be Iranian-made. 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.”
President Trump has the Pentagon planning all options and responses and claims the U.S. was “locked and loaded.” As a fair Commander in Chief, he is awaiting Saudi Arabia to make the call as to the route they will handle this situation. Once they decide the president will still hold back until Saudi Arabia request U.S. assistance.
Zarif was asked by the CNN reporter if there was an attack on Iran by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia, what would happen then? His answer came quickly without hesitation. “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. A military response based on deception about the weekend attacks would cause a lot of casualties.” Zarif added, “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”
Everything started over the sanctions placed on Iran when President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and placed over 1,000 sanctions on Iran. When asked about talks soon, Zarif again explained, “If they lift the sanctions that they re-imposed illegally then that’s a different situation. Then we would consider (talks).”
Iran’s economy was crippled after the U.S. imposed the sanctions. Prices soared, and the currency crashed. There is a shortage of food and medicines in the country, and Zarif told CNN, “They’ve done whatever they could, and they haven’t been able to bring us to our knees.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Zarif are scheduled to visit United Nations General Assembly in New York in late September. President Hassan Rouhani stated he will cancel the trip if he does not have the visas issued to come to America. Zarif said, “(The U.S.) haven’t issued visas for the advanced team of our president. That makes it very difficult for him to go.” Zarif was asked if time has run out for the visas, he said, “Well, I am not saying too late, but it is very near too late.”
Iranian’s top diplomat also explained his resignation where he stepped back and rescinded. In the interview, Zarif explained, “The incident was not personal. I rescinded the resignation when I was publicly assured I was still in charge of the country’s foreign policy.”
Zarif spent time in the United States as a student. He then became a U.N. ambassador. He was asked if he missed anything about the U.S. He responded, “I miss little about the country now that we are on the sanctions list, but I long for the days of rational policymaking. What I miss is rationality. What I miss is prudence. I think the U.S. deserves to be more rational.”