Iranian officials have rejected the claims of U.S. officials that Iran was behind the September 14, 2019 large-scale attack on the oil infrastructures of Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil company. According to American sources, the attack was carried out by cruise missiles and suicide drones launched from Iran, not by the Houthi militia in Yemen, Ansar Allah, which operates under Iranian guidance and whose officials claimed responsibility for the attack.
Although Iran's attack on the Aramco oil facilities targeted Saudi Arabia, the message it conveyed was directed mainly at the U.S. This message was part of the direct and indirect communication that has been ongoing between the two countries for years, and especially since the 2015 nuclear deal. As the U.S. sanctions policy vis-a-is Iran has grown tighter, the latter has escalated its military responses. See MEMRI report: The Attack On Saudi Oil Facilities: An Implementation Of Iran's Explicit Threats In Recent Months To Target Saudi Arabia, U.S., Global Economy.
While Iranian regime officials are careful to deny responsibility for the attacks Iran carries out in the region – whether directly or indirectly, by means of the resistance axis (the Houthi militia in Yemen; the Popular Mobilization Units, PMU, in Iraq; Hizbullah in Lebanon, and the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza) – their statements indicate the deep involvement of the Iranian regime in attacks targeting the U.S. and its interests in the region. For example, Ayatollah Ahmad Alam Al-Hoda, the Friday preacher in Mashhad and Khamenei's representative in the Khorasan Razavi province, explained that Iran is no longer confined to its geographical boundaries, and that all of the resistance factions in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine are now part of Iran, and will continue to respond on its behalf to every attack on it. Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Heshmatollah Falahat Pisheh derided the U.S. for its inability to act either diplomatically or militarily against Iran's activity in the region.
This report presents translated excerpts from the statements of Alam Al-Hoda and Falahat Pisheh, as well as threats by heads of Iran's armed forces – Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Hossein Salami and Khamenei advisor Yahya Rahim Safavi – who warned that if the U.S. and its allies attack Iran in response to the operation against the Saudi oil facilities, Iran will respond with a forceful military attack of its own.
Khamenei Associate Ayatollah Alam Al-Hoda: Today Iran Is The Resistance In The Region; If You Invade Us, Israel Will Turn Into Dust In Half A Day
Ayatollah Ahmad Alam Al-Hoda, the Friday preacher in Mashhad and Khamenei's representative in the Khorasan Razavi province, stressed in this September 20, 2019 Friday sermon, in the context of the attack on the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, that Iran is not confined to its own geographical boundaries and that its proxies in the region – the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) in Yemen, Hizbullah in Lebanon, the national front in Syria, and the resistance organizations in Palestine, i.e., the Islamic Jihad and Hamas – are all Iran. He stated: "It is a rare occurrence in the world and in history that ordinary people should stand up and resist in this way, for 39-40 years. Why have we persisted in this resistance [against the U.S. and its allies]? On the eve of the [Iran-Iraq war in 1980-1988], the enemy was equipped with a variety of means... A storm of fire descends upon the feet [of the Iranian soldiers] who march across the minefields. The children [i.e., the Iranian fighters] advance. They are not afraid, either of the mines beneath their feet or of the rain of fire above their heads. What is the origin of this spirit of resistance, sacrifice and defense [of Iran]? Were there such people in any country or society [other than Iran]? Their source [of inspiration] was Imam Hussein and his descendants [the rest of the Shi'ite Imams]. They were the teachers of resistance and they taught us. Had we not had such teachers, had Hussein, the Ashura and Hussein's descendants not existed, these 39 years of resistance would not have brought us to this point...
"Iran today is no longer a state confined to [specific] geographical borders. 39 years ago, on September 22, 1980, [the Iraqis] bombed [Iran's] Mehrabad airport [in Tehran]. They attacked us from the southern and southwestern borders, and within a few days 1,500 square kilometers of our territory were under the attack of enemy weapons... We did not have a single cannon and were not provided with [any military gear]. The entire world conspired to help the infidel [Iraqi president] Saddam [Hussein] rule over us.
"That was our situation then, but today's Iran is not just Iran. It is not confined to these geographical borders. Today, the PMU in Iraq is Iran. Hizbullah in Lebanon is Iran. [The Houthi] Ansar Allah in Yemen is Iran. The national front in Syria is Iran. The Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Palestine are Iran. They have all become Iran. Iran is no longer just us. The sayyed of the Resistance [Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah] has announced that the resistance in the region has one imam and that this imam is the honorable leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, [Khamenei].
"Last Saturday, Yemen's Ansar Allah sent 10 drones to the vicinity of Abqaiq and Khurais. In the Abqaiq area there was an Aramco oil refinery, the most important refinery in the world. That oil used to be exported. The refinery produced seven million barrels [of oil] a day. The Yemeni Ansar Allah's drones reduced the refinery in that area to rubble. Five million barrels of Saudi oil are [now] lost every day and cannot be exported. It has come to the point that Saudi Arabia is purchasing oil from Iraq so as to supply its clients. The Americans refused to open up their strategic [oil] reserves to the world, on any condition, [for] these oil reserves [serve to] ensure that America will remain the master of the world when the day comes and the world runs out of oil... [But] America was forced to open these reserves in order to stabilize the price of oil, which in the meantime had had risen by 20%.
"The Aramco oil refinery, which produces 5% of the world's oil, was destroyed, and the Khurais oil wells were likewise destroyed in the attack of the Yemeni Ansar Allah. The stupid Americans and their mercenaries –Saudi Arabia – claim that this was an Iranian operation. [They say,] 'We watch Yemen's skies. They [the Houthis] brought a drone from the north and destroyed [the Saudi oil facilities].' When they [the U.S. and Saudi Arabia] say this, everyone understands they want to deceive the world...
"[Go ahead and] blame Iran... Today, Iran is the resistance in the region. This means that if you trespass our border, Israel will turn into dust in half a day.
"Do you even understand where Iran is? Do you look to see where it is? Isn't south Lebanon Iran? Isn't Hizbullah Iran? The drones sent by the Yemenis that caused such damage to Saudi Arabia – wasn't that Iran? You say that [the drones] came from the north and not from the south. South or north – what difference does it make? Iran is both to your south and to your north. Today there is an alert Muslim in every part of this region, [and any place] where a fighting movement exists is Iran and its imam is Iran and its leader is Iran."
Ahmad Alam Al-Hoda (source: ISNA, Iran)
To view a MEMRI TV clip of excerpts from this sermon, click below.
Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Member Heshmatollah Falahat Pisheh: "In The Matter Of Aramco, The Americans Took Feeble Positions Vis-à-vis Iran... Because They See That Directing Accusations At Iran Will Precipitate A Crisis, [Now] Or In The Future. That Is Why Many Countries Kept Silent"
Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee chairman Heshmatollah Falahat Pisheh said on September 20, 2019 that the U.S. is weak compared to Iran. He assessed that the hands of the Trump administration are tied: he is unable to launch a war on Iran whose outcomes he cannot foresee. At the same time he is also unable to take diplomatic measures against Iran at the Security Council by blaming it for the attack on Saudi Arabia – because the U.S., Europe and other countries realize that even making this claim at the Security Council will precipitate an unwanted crisis, and therefore they all remain silent. He said:
"The truth is that everything can be explained in terms of the confusion that [characterizes] America's foreign policy. [This can] explain why we are witnessing the failure of the policy of Saudi Arabia, America's ally in the region. In this context we stress that it is impossible to put faith in Trump's messages regarding the negotiations [he wishes to hold with Iran]. America's strategy is to put maximum pressure on Iran, and it is handling its affairs according to this strategy.
"Had the Americans not witnessed the downing of their drone by Iran, they might have made mistakes [and attacked] Iran. What causes America to fear a military operation against Iran is the balance of power that will be created by a possible war. It's not that they do not want to do anything. Before the downing of the drone they had a policy of operating against several targets in Iran, and there were even some [specific] suggestions [for attacks], but after the downing of the drone that policy was shelved and taken off the agenda. That is why we are seeing confusion among Americans and their allies.
"Amid these circumstances, Iran sent a letter of protest to the Swiss embassy, which represents America's interests [in Iran, warning the U.S.] to beware the repercussions of any future violent action against Iran.
"Despite all the American efforts, the dossier on Iran [in the context of] the Aramco [attack] will not reach the UN Security Council. In the matter of the Aramco [attack], the Americans took feeble positions vis-à-vis Iran. The other countries also tried avoiding the issue, because they see that directing such accusations against Iran will create a crisis, [now] or in the future. That is why many countries kept silent [about this matter].
"Saudi's entanglement in Yemen is the report card, the experience and the yard stick [by which to evaluate the success of] Trump's actions in cooperation with his allies in the region. Trump's grades in this area are poor. He even expressed contradictory positions on the Aramco [incident], and in their last conversation he demanded more money from the Saudis.
"In sum, after everything that happened following the Houthi attack on the Aramco oil infrastructures, we can say that America's national security strategy in the 21st century does not allow it to start a war whose outcomes it cannot foresee. This fact causes America to be feeble vis-à-vis Iran."
Heshmatollah Falahat Pisheh (source: ISNA, Iran)
Top Iranian Commanders Threaten U.S. And Its Allies Not To Respond To The Attack On Saudi Arabia
Former IRGC Commander-in-Chief General Yahya Rahim Safavi, who currently serves as Supreme Leader Khamenei's Special Military Advisor, said on September 20, 2019 that, if the Americans attack Iran, the Iranian people "will retaliate from the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean".
To watch a MEMRI TV clip of his statements, click below
IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami said on September 21, 2019 that if Iran is attacked in response to the Saudi incident, it will retaliate with a harsh military attack of its own that will not be confined to Iranian territory.
To watch a MEMRI TV clip of his statements, click below
 The Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein ibn Ali, the third Shi'a imam, was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680 against the army of the Sunni ruler Yazid ibn Mu'awiya. In Iran's Islamic Revolution the figure of Hussein and his death in the Battle of Karbala have become emblematic of Shi'ite revival
 ISNA (Iran), September 20, 2019.