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Iran Doesn’t Want Conflict, Says Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, But Any US-Saudi Attack Would Spark ‘All-Out War’

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Via Naked Capitalism

Yves here. Sadly, it bears repeating that Iran has made clear it is ready to launch a brutal counter-strike if attacked. And in case you missed it, at the top of Links comments yesterday, PlutoniumKun shredded the US/Saudi claim that Iran was behind the drone attack on Saudi oil facilities:

Saudi Arabia shows ‘material evidence’ of Iranian involvement in oil attacks Sky News

Just to show the quality of the reporting, this report says:

The drone shown by Saudi Arabia matches one displayed at a defence show in Iran

And the Guardian ‘Analysis’ says:

The missile debris the Saudis displayed at a press conference on Wednesday evening appeared to be that of an Iranian Quds-1 missile, with a range of less than 1000km, and possibly as little as 500km, said Michael Elleman, from the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

And yet, go to the Wikipedia page on the Quds-1 and says the Quds-1 is a Houthi (not Iranian) designed weapon which is similar to, but not identical to Iranian models. This wiki page links to a June Janes Report which elaborates, with a photo of an identical drone, shown publicly 3 months ago by the Houthi.

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (popularly known as the Houthis) unveiled on 7 July weapons that it has been using to attack Saudi Arabia in recent months, including a ground-launched cruise missile that may have been used to attack Abha International Airport on 12 June.

Saudi military spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki previously identified the cruise missile used in that attack as an Iranian Ya Ali. However, the Quds cruise missile displayed by Ansar Allah looked substantially different from the Ya Ali that was unveiled by Iran in 2014. Most notably its engine was mounted on top of the missile, rather than inside it with an air intake below.

In other words, the Saudi’s are showing what is almost certainly a Houthi designed weapon, one similar to, but with distinct differences from the Iranian model. The other report linked in the Wiki page, to the National Interest article, points out that the Houthi weapon appears to use a Czech manufactured turbojet while the Iranians use a Russian one.

It took me perhaps 2 minutes using Wikipedia to show that the Sky and Guardian articles are probably bunk. The missiles as shown by the Saudi’s are almost certainly Houthi made and designed (the Saudi’s even use the Houthi name, the Quds-1, the Iranians call theirs the Ya Ali!). Is this really the best they can do?

It’s sobering to see the US make stuff up and the Western press happily pass it along as gospel truth.

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By Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned Thursday that while his nation does not desire military conflict, any attack by the United States or Saudi Arabia would spark “an all-out war” in the Middle East.

“We don’t want war. We don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Zarif said in an exclusive interviewwith CNN. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”

The Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi oil facilities this past weekend, but Iran has denied any involvement.

Zarif told CNNthat he does not know who was responsible for the incident and accused the U.S. and Saudi Arabia of falsely pointing fingers at Iran.

“We believe that a military confrontation based on deception is awful, will have a lot of casualties,” said Zarif. “We have never started a war. Go back through the history. We never started a war, any war, in the past 250 years. We don’t plan to start another war. It’s not in our interest to start a war because we are content with our size, with our geography, with our natural resources, with our human resources, with our strength.”

“We believe that we do not need war in this region,” Zarif added. “We believe that we need dialogue, we need cooperation, we need confidence-building in this region.”

Watch:

Zarif’s comments came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attacks on Saudi oil facilities “an act of war” during a meeting with Saudi leaders on Wednesday.

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In a tweetresponding to Pompeo’s comment, Zarif accused Pompeo and the Saudis of “agitation for war.”

“For their own sake, they should pray that they won’t get what they seek,” said Zarif. “They’re still paying for much smaller Yemen war they were too arrogant to end four years ago.”

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