Iran 'will destroy aggressors' as US plans to deploys troops in Saudi Arabia

21 September 2019, 20:27

Iran&squot;s Revolutionary Guard are ready "for any scenario&squot; amid increasing tensions in the Gulf
Iran's Revolutionary Guard are ready "for any scenario' amid increasing tensions in the Gulf. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Iran "will hit anyone who crosses our borders" as tensions with the US soar following the attack on a Saudi oil facility last week.

The chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard warned anyone planning an attack on its territory that it would "continue until the full destruction of any aggressor."

Major-General Hossein Salami told Iranian state media his country will "never allow a war to enter our land."

It comes as the US announced it was deploying troops in Saudi Arabia to support the Gulf State following the attacks on one of the world's largest oil refineries.

The US-Saudi coalition blamed Tehran for the attack on 14 September, which Iran denies.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the drone and missile strikes.

The USA believes Iran is responsible for the attacks on the Saudi oil facility
The USA believes Iran is responsible for the attacks on the Saudi oil facility. Picture: PA

Mr Salami was speaking at a ceremony where pieces of an American drone shot down by the Guard in June were on display.

He revealed his forces had carried out war exercises and were ready "for any scenario," adding "if anyone crosses our borders, we will hit them."

The Pentagon announced its plans to deploy additional troops and missile defence equipment in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Friday in the USA.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper told reporters this would be the first step to improve security in the region and he would not rule out additional moves in the future.

General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said more details about the deployment will be determined in the coming days, but it would not involve thousands of US troops.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir did not give details of possible actions against the perpetrators
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir did not give details of possible actions against the perpetrators. Picture: PA

The announcement reflected US President Donald Trump's comments earlier in the day when he told reporters that showing restraint "shows far more strength" than launching military strikes and he wanted to avoid an all-out war with Iran.

Instead, he laid out new sanctions on the Iranian central bank and said the easiest thing to do would be to launch military strikes.

Mr Dunford told reporters the extra equipment and troops would give the Saudis a better chance of defending against unconventional aerial attacks.

He said: "No single system is going to be able to defend against a threat like that, but a layered system of defensive capabilities would mitigate the risk of swarms of drones or other attacks that may come from Iran."

Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since Mr Trump abandoned a nuclear arms deal between the two countries.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs is yet to reveal plans for repercussions against the perpetrators but vowed to reveal the full findings of the investigations.

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