- Published: Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Britain, France, and Germany have joined the US in blaming Iran for the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities earlier this month. The leaders of the three European countries, who are still a part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, issued a joint statement saying that “there is no other plausible explanation” than that “Iran bears responsibility for this attack”.
The joint statement read: “We, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, recall our shared common security interests, in particular upholding the global non-proliferation regime and preserving stability in the Middle East… We are committed to continuing our diplomatic efforts to create conditions and facilitate dialogue with all relevant partners interested in the de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East, in the interest of preserving international peace and security. … We urge Iran to engage in such a dialogue and refrain from further provocation and escalation.”
This comes just days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Saudi Arabia on a mission to build a coalition to respond to the attacks. While Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook said at an Asia Society event in New York on Monday that the US will intensify pressure and emphasized the importance of the coalition.
He said: “It is that Iran has crossed the line by this attack on another country’s sovereignty.”
He said that the US was seeking to address the issue diplomatically, but that this should be a multilateral effort and that the United Nations Security Council should play a role.
International experts, at the request of Saudi Arabia, are still investigating.
Iranian regime’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied responsibility, calling the idea of regime doing anything just before President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the United Nations “stupid”, and ruled out any meeting between the Iranian regime and the US.
Zarif is planning to meet with ministers of the five countries still in the 2015 nuclear deal - Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany - on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that he had told Rouhani that the path to reduce tensions in the region has gotten smaller and the time has come for Iran to help defuse the crisis because it was urgent that a discussion on a security agenda for the region be started.
The statement read: “The president said that in the current situation, the path of de-escalation was narrow but more necessary than ever and that the time had come for Iran to take it.”
Macron and Rouhani spoke for over 90 minutes shortly after Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued their joint statement.