World / Politics

Iran vows to 'destroy' any attacker

AFP-JIJI

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff on Tuesday vowed to destroy any enemy that attacks the country, a news agency reported.

“The result of any aggression will be destruction” and “captivity,” the Fars news agency reported Mohammad Bagheri as telling parliament.

Iran has “no animosity towards the countries of the region,” Bagheri said, according to the agency close to the country’s ultra-conservatives.

But he alleged Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates had “lost their way” and were “at the source of plots against Iran.”

Tensions have soared in the Gulf since a Sept. 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran, which denies involvement.

In the wake of the attack that slashed Saudi oil output in half, the United States said it had ordered reinforcements to the region.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani are both to address the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week.

But no encounter has so far been planned between the two leaders, Trump said late Monday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week warned that any American or Saudi military strike on Iran would trigger “all-out war.”

He said his country did not want conflict, but Tehran would not hesitate to defend its territory.

Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions on Iran.

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