Iran's Revolutionary Guard has said it is "ready for any scenario" and will retaliate if Iran is targeted. The warning came as the US approved the deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia, Tehran's archfoe in the region.
Iran will hit back against any aggressor and seek to destroy it, the elite Revolutionary Guard warned Saturday.
Tensions in the Gulf region have spiraled after attacks on Saudi oil installations last weekend that Riyadh and the US have blamed on Iran. Tehran denies involvement.
"Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue any aggressor," the head of the Guard, Major General Hossein Salami, said at a press conference broadcast on state TV. "We are after punishment and we will continue until the full destruction of any aggressor."
Salami said Iran did not want to start a conflict, but he stressed that his forces have carried out "war exercises and are ready for any scenario."
"If anyone crosses our borders, we will hit them," he added.
Saudi vows to 'take necessary steps'
The September 14 drone and missile strikes hit two major Saudi oil sites and initially knocked out half of the kingdom's oil production.
The Iran-allied Houthi rebels, who have been fighting against a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen since 2015, said they were responsible for the attacks. But that claim has been dismissed by officials in Washington and Riyadh, who say Iran is to blame.
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it would respond once Iran's involvement is confirmed by an investigation.
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said the probe would prove that the strikes came from the north — from Iran — not from Yemen, and that the kingdom was consulting with its allies to "take the necessary steps ... to ensure (Saudi Arabia's) security and stability."
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in New York for meetings at the UN, warned that any retaliatory strike on Iran by the US or Saudi Arabia will result in "an all-out war."
The US this week imposed more sanctions on Iran's central bank and approved sending American troops and military equipment to boost defenses in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The US has slapped a series of sanctions on Iran since pulling out of a 2015 landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers last year.
nm/jlw (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)