Iran will destroy ‘any aggressor,’ military official warns

A senior military official warned Saturday that Iran would destroy any aggressor as tensions escalate with the United States following a U.S. troop announcement.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami warned Saturday that the country would destroy any aggressor that attacked its territory one week after an attack on Saudi oil installations that Riyadh blamed on Iran. File Photo by Ali Haider

Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, warned the United States and its allies that Iran would not tolerate any country launching an attack on its territory.

“Be careful and make no mistake,” Salami said after U.S. President Donald Trump’s order Friday to send additional troops to the Middle East to support Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia nearly a week after the drone attack on Saudi oil facilities.

“Our readiness to respond to any aggression is definitive,” Salami told state media Saturday. “We will never allow a war to enter our land.”

“We will pursue any aggressor,” he added. “We will continue until the full destruction of any aggressor.”

U.S. and Saudi officials have blamed Iran for drone attacks last week on Saudi oil facilities. Iran is supporting Houthi rebels in their fight against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called the U.S. and Saudi accusations “slander,” denying Tehran was involved in the attack.

Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the Saudi attack, but U.S. Secretary of States Mike Pompeo said the weapons used were Iranian and Saudi officials presented “material” proof of Tehran’s complicity.

On Friday, Trump announced the “highest sanctions ever imposed on a country” against Iran since he pulled out of the nuclear deal more than a year ago while signaling he wanted to avoid military conflict. The sanctions focus on Iran’s central bank and its national development fund — sovereign wealth fund.

A day earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned that any military action in response to oil attacks last weekend would cause “all out war.”

On Saturday, Zarif wrote on Twitter that the sanctions show “desperation and the failure of its ‘max pressure.”

“Of course it puts pressure on the Iranian people, but it doesn’t change policy, it makes Iranians more determined to pursue their policies and it seems to me that the United States will need to sooner or later have a serious reconsideration of their policy a sober reassessment of what they have achieved through pressure on Iran,” Zarif told reporters in New York, Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

BySommer Brokaw