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Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Photo: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warns of "all-out war" if anyone attacks Iran, but Zarif emphasizes Iran does not want war with anyone, during an interview with CNN.

"I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I'm making a very serious statement that we don't want war. We don't want to engage in military confrontation. We believe that a military confrontation based on deception is awful. [It] will have a lot of casualties, but we won't blink to defend our territory."
— Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

Why it matters: Zarif's words are the "starkest warning offered yet by Iran" after a tense summer with the United States and Saudi Arabia, reports AP.

The big picture: During the interview, Zarif also repeatedly denied Iran's involvement in Saturday's attacks against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials have blamed Iran for the attacks. A Pentagon report on the incident is expected today.

  • Zarif claims the Saudi government is leading a "disinformation campaign," and they want to "pin the blame on Iran in order to achieve something."

Yes, but Zarif pointed to the Iranian-backed Houth rebels in Yemen, saying they had released a statement claiming responsibility.

  • When asked about the sophistication of the weapons, Zarif said people can get creative when they're desperate.

What he's saying: "I think it's important for the Saudi government to understand what they want to achieve. Do they want to fight Iran to the last American soldier? Is that their aim? Because if they want that to be their aim, they can be assured this won't be the case. Because Iran will defend itself."

Go deeper: Saudi coalition says Iranian weapons used in oil attacks

Go deeper

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight, hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley issued air quality alerts as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.