IRAN’S foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned yesterday that any attack on his country after a series of missile strikes on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry would result in ‘all-out war’.
Zarif also demanded that the Saudis hand over the ‘evidence’ they claim proves the attack came from Iran, and not from Houthi-fighters in Yemen.
Zarif’s threat was in response to the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who referred to the attack as an ‘act of war’.
Zarif said: ‘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.’
Meanwhile, the American’s air defence systems are incapable of thwarting an attack by multiple small planes and missiles, the Russian Ministry of Defence said yesterday.
This has been proved, Russia said, by the attack on the Saudi oilfields, where the US system deployed failed.
The Russian Defence Ministry said: ‘88 Patriot systems deployed in Saudi Arabia failed to repel the attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities, letting dozens of drones and guided missiles get through the defences.’
The US system is ‘ineffective in countering small aircraft and guided missiles.’
Saudi Aramco plants were hit hard in a drone attack by Yemeni Houthis, crippling Saudi crude output, halving it for several days and sending world oil prices rocketing up by 20%.
In the wake of the attack, the US military command for the Middle East suggested sending more air defence missile systems to Saudi Arabia after existing ones failed to foil the strike.
The Russian Defence Ministry said: ‘The secretary of state’s (Pompeo’s) claims that air defence systems around the world demonstrate controversial results in repelling attacks sometimes, can only be taken seriously if we are speaking about a single Patriot system, covering one object.
‘But the US had deployed a powerful air defence grid in Saudi Arabia, especially in the north, with a solid radar field.’