'All-out war' to result if hit for Saudi attack

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Any attack on Iran by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia will spark an all-out war, Tehrans top diplomat warned Thursday, raising the stakes as Washington and Riyadh weigh a response to a drone-and-missile strike on the kingdoms oil industry that shook global energy markets.

The comments by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif represented the starkest warning yet by Iran in a long summer of mysterious attacks and incidents following the collapse of Irans 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, more than a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the accord.

They appeared to be aimed directly at U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who while on a trip to the region earlier referred to Saturdays attack in Saudi Arabia as an act of war.

Along with the sharp language, however, there also were signals from both sides of wanting to avoid a confrontation.

On Thursday evening, a spokesman at Irans mission to the United Nations said Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani had received U.S. visas to attend next weeks annual U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

In his comments, Zarif sought to expose current strains between the Americans and the Saudis under Trump, who long has criticized U.S. wars in the Middle East.

Trumps close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been challenged by opponents following the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last year in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the king....

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