Iran Further Ramps Up Rhetoric as Tensions Rise in Gulf
“Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue any aggressor,” Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in remarks carried by state television on Saturday. “We are after punishment and we will continue until the full destruction of any aggressor.” Salami was the latest Iranian official to weigh in with tough warnings as tensions rose following a concentrated aerial strike by missiles and drones last Saturday against major Saudi oil facilities, which both Riyadh and Washington are blaming on Tehran. On Friday, Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi, military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying that if attacked, “the Iranian nation will respond from the Mediterranean, to the Red Sea and to the Indian Ocean.” On the same day, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied that Tehran had been behind the attacks and told CNN there would be “all-out war” if anyone struck out at Iran.