News ID: 259089
Published: 0350 GMT September 22, 2019

US can’t explain why missile system failed Saudi Arabia: Zarif

US can’t explain why missile system failed Saudi Arabia: Zarif

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the latest US move to send troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia as "posturing," adding that it was difficult for Washington to explain why its missile systems were unable to intercept Yemeni weapons used in last week's attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

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

The US administration has blamed Iran for the September 14 attack by Yemen’s Houthi fighters 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.

Tehran has repeatedly rejected the accusations as groundless.

However, US President Donald Trump on Friday approved the deployment of troops and missile equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

He also announced new sanctions on Iran.

“Well it is difficult for the United States to explain why its state-of-the-art equipment was not able to intercept these weapons. But the fact of the matter is that the Houthis have accepted responsibility – responsibility for that. If it were a false-flag operation, if somebody else did it, then they should look for that culprit. It wasn't Iran. And if the United States believes it wasn't the Yemenis then they should look for who- who did it,” Zarif said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that experts had been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to investigate the attack.

"We were not informed by the UN. We were not consulted by the UN. 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," Iran’s top diplomat noted.

Zarif also questioned if the US believed that the Yemenis were not behind the attack, why did the Saudis retaliated against the Yemeni resistance group? Why did they break the UN brokered ceasefire in Hudeidah and retaliated against the Yemenis? They did that because they all know where it came from, and how it should end is through an end to the killing of innocent children, women, elderly that has been going on.

“100,000 people have been killed. Over two million cases of cholera in Yemen. Now everybody is concerned about an attack on an oil refinery which, based on the latest information that I have, didn't even have a single casualty. Hundred thousand innocent human beings not enough but a refinery is an imminent threat,” he added.

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 US or Saudi Arabia would result in an “all-out war."

Zarif’s remarks, recorded in Iran’s United Nations mission in New York, is the latest to come from Iranian officials amid an escalation in tensions in the Middle East, where the United States has sought to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil installations.


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