TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over anti-Tehran remarks and said that although the Islamic Republic “has no desire for war”, it will always defend its people.
“@SecPompeo has it the other way around: It’s not #Iran that wishes to fight to the last American; rather, it is his #B_Team hosts who seem to wish to fight Iran to the last American,” Zarif said on his Twitter account on Friday.
“Iran has no desire for war, but we will, and always have, defend our people and our nation,” he added in his tweet.
The US state secretary said on Thursday that the US was building a coalition to deter what he called Iranian threats.
Pompeo, who was in the United Arab Emirates, said, “I was here (doing) active diplomacy while the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war to fight to the last American.”
He was speaking after talks with Saudi and Emirati leaders over a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Tehran. Iran denies any involvement in the attack.
The Yemeni forces on Saturday launched drone attacks on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.
The attacks came in retaliation for the Saudi-led coalition’s continued aggression on the Arabian Peninsula country.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
The Saudi war has impacted over seven million children in Yemen who now face a serious threat of famine, according to UNICEF figures. Over 6,000 children have either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015, UN children’s agency said. The humanitarian situation in the country has also been exacerbated by outbreaks of cholera, polio, and measles.