Iran Says Zarif Leaving For UN In NY On Friday

The UAE is a leading partner in a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen

But as Iran's top diplomat, Zarif was sanctioned by the USA on July 31 - ahead of the UN General Assembly debate due to begin on Tuesday.

The attack was claimed by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group.

Asked about Zarif's comments, Pompeo sought to defuse the stand-off.

Iran's foreign minister threatened "all-out war" if the USA strikes his country in response to an attack on a key Saudi oil facility. "I think it's abundantly clear and there is an enormous consensus in the region that we know precisely who conducted these attacks was Iran..."

Wall Street Journal Assistant Editorial Features Editor, Jason Willick added that Saudi Arabia's apparent unwillingness to take on the Iranians may complicate the President's plan to reduce the USA footprint in the Middle East.

"I can not have any confidence that they did it because we just heard their statement", Zarif said.

Although Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for Saturday's strikes on Saudi oil infrastructures, the USA maintained that the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounts to "an act of war".

Pompeo said he hoped Iran would choose a path toward peace, but he remained doubtful.

"At the time of the war, we would sell our oil and get our money and buy whatever we wanted, but now the conditions are very complicated", Zanganeh said, referring to banking sanctions which make it hard for Tehran to receive its oil income.

Tehran says the USA accusations were part of Washington's "maximum pressure" policy on Iran to force it to renegotiate a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which Mr Trump exited previous year, reimposing sanctions to choke off Iran's oil exports.

Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia is leading a Sunni Arab coalition fighting the Houthis in the impoverished state on the tip of the Arabian peninsula - part of a regional proxy war between Tehran and Riyadh across the Middle East.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday said he preferred a "peaceful resolution" to a crisis sparked by attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure, as Iran warned against "all-out war", Hurra channel reported.

United States officials it quoted said unreleased satellite photos showed Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps making preparations for the attack at Ahvaz airbase. Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom also are taking part.

The U.S. formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that American officials blame on Iran, as well as Iran's seizure of tankers in the region.

Nowadays, there are 88 Patriot launchers - 52 of which are the newest PAC-3 version - shielding Saudi Arabia's northern border, he said. Iran denies being behind the tanker explosions, although the attacks came after Tehran threatened to stop oil exports from the Persian Gulf. Turki Al-Malki identified as Iranian weapons collected after the attack. However, experts told The Associated Press the cruise missiles used in the assault did not have the range to have been launched from Yemen and reach their targets.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday on CNews television that the claims are "not very credible".

"The original Harpy was essentially a very low-priced cruise missile", he told The Epoch Times. "But we sent our experts to have our own vision of things".



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