IRAN has warned the US it’s “ready for a fully-fledged war” as American bases are “within range of our missiles”, says a top commander.
The threat, from Aerospace Force boss Amirali Hajizadeh, comes hours after immense fires were seen engulfing two major Saudi Arabian oil plants.
Iran has dismissed accusations by the US that it was behind Saturday’s attacks on Saudi oil plants that disrupted world oil production.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has already claimed responsibility for the attacks, that knocked out more than half of Saudi’s oil output.
But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was no evidence the attacks came from Yemen and accused Iran of “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”
His tweets have prompted a war of words, with Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, speaking on state TV, dismissing the American claim as “pointless”.
And, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander warned that the Islamic Republic was ready for “full-fledged” war and that US military assets were within range of Iranian missiles.
“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000km around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force Amirali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
State-run oil company Saudi Aramco said the strikes would cut output by 5.7million barrels per day, or more than 5 per cent of global crude supply, at a time when Aramco is gearing up for a stock market listing.
Aramco gave no timeline for when output would resume but said early Sunday it would give a progress update in around 48 hours. A source close to the matter told Reuters the return to full oil capacity could take “weeks, not days”.
The kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, ships more than seven million barrels of oil to global destinations every day, and for years has served as the supplier of last resort to markets.
America said it was ready to tap its emergency oil reserves if needed after the attack on two oil plants, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility in Abqaiq.