/Irans Zarif: U.S. posturing by sending troops to Saudi Arabia in wake of attacks

Irans Zarif: U.S. posturing by sending troops to Saudi Arabia in wake of attacks

Javad Zarif

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Iran’s foreign minister said the U.S. is “posturing” by sending troops and defense equipment to Saudi Arabia in response to last week’s attacks on a major Saudi Arabia oil facility, for which he again denied Iran was responsible.

“I think it’s posturing. I think it’s all going the wrong direction in addressing this issue,” Javad Zarif said in response to a question on how Iran sees the development in an interview set to air Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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The Trump administration has blamed Iran for the Sep. 14 attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field that adversely affected up to half of the supplies from the world’s biggest oil exporter.

President Donald Trump on Friday approved the deployment of U.S. troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said the attacks were an “act of war” while Trump announced he would “substantially increase” sanctions on Iran.

Zarif also denied that Iran had anything to do with the attacks and said it will likely not accept the results of any United Nations investigation into them. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that experts been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to investigate.

“We were not informed by the U.N. We were not consulted by the U.N. We do not know on what basis this has taken place. So we will take it up with the United Nations. We are confident that if the United Nations carries out an impartial investigation the outcome will be that it was not launched from Iran,” Zaris said.

Asked if he was confident Iran could avoid a war, Zarif said, “I’m confident that we will not start one but I’m confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it.”

“That means that there won’t be a limited war,” Zarif said, echoing his previous comments that a military strike on Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in an “all-out war.”

Zarif also said that the U.S. made it clear he was not welcome at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City next week that he planned to attend, despite being approved for a visa waiver.

“Well not necessarily, because the United States is under obligation, being the host of the U.N. headquarters to issue visas to member states. So they made it very clear in a letter that they attached to my visa that I’m not eligible to get a visa, but they’re doing it on a waiver basis. So they want me to know that I’m not supposed to be here,” Zarif said.

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