US 'Posturing' by Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia: Zarif

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US is "posturing" by sending troops and defense equipment to Saudi Arabia in response to last week's attacks on major Saudi Arabia oil facilities.

US 'Posturing' by Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia: Zarif

"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 development in an interview set to air Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

The Trump administration has blamed Iran for the Sep. 14 attacks by Houthis 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.

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

Zarif denied that Iran had anything to do with the attacks and said it will likely not accept the results of any United Nations investigation into them. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that experts been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to investigate.

"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," Zarif said.

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

Zarif also said that the US made it clear he was not welcome at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City next week that he planned to attend, despite being approved for a visa waiver.

"Well not necessarily, because the United States is under obligation, being the host of the UN headquarters to issue visas to member states. So they made it very clear in a letter that they attached to my visa that I'm not eligible to get a visa, but they're doing it on a waiver basis. So they want me to know that I'm not supposed to be here," Zarif said.

The Iranian foreign minister is expected to have a busy schedule in New York where he is expected to meet foreign ministers of countries signatory to a major international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program which has suffered since May last year when the US withdrew from the pact.

Reports said Zarif had held a first ministerial meeting on Saturday with Yusuf bin Alawi, the foreign minister of Oman, a country in the Persian Gulf which acted as a mediator between Iran and the US during talks that led to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

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