A military strike against Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in “an all-out war,” Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Thursday, repeating his government’s denial of responsibility for an attack last week that damaged Saudi oil facilities.
The Houthi rebel faction in Yemen — supported by Iran in its fight against a Saudi-led coalition — claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack. But Saudi and American officials blamed Iran, raising the threat of military retaliation. But so far it is not clear how they will react.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out an “act of war” with the aerial attacks, but President Trump has appeared reluctant to order a military strike.
“I’m making a very serious statement that we don’t want war; we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Mr. Zarif told CNN in an interview. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”
Mr. Zarif said of the Houthis: “I cannot have any confidence that they did it, because we just had their statement. I know that we didn’t do it.”
Saudi officials said this week that they were examining drone and missile parts that they said were recovered from the attack sites. United States and Saudi officials said that the attack on the Abqaiq processing facility and Khurais oil field — viewed as the most destructive strike to Saudi Arabia since it opened an offensive in Yemen more than four years ago — did not come from the direction of Yemen, in the south, but from the direction of Iran, in the north.
The kingdom’s oil production fell more than 50 percent in the aftermath of the attacks.