Britain Holds Iran Responsible for Saudi Oil Attacks

  • The announcement by Johnson is a change in the country's stance on the Aramco attacks.
  • The British prime minister also announced a visit with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
  • Europe and the United States have very different approaches to the Middle East crisis.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attack on Aramco. The United Kingdom is one of the countries participating in the US-led offshore Gulf security mission. According to the Associated Press, Prime Minister Johnson made his announcement and accusation on Sunday.

On September 14, 2019, drones were used to attack the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq (Biqayq in Arabic) and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia. The Houthi movement in Yemen claimed responsibility, tying it to events surrounding the Saudi Arabian intervention in the Yemeni Civil War and asserting they used 10 drones in the attack.

The announcement by Johnson is a change in the country’s stance on the Aramco attacks. The Associated Press cited prior British restraint in expressing its views on the responsibility for the attacks. In a statement, Johnson emphasized the country’s efforts to ease tensions stemming from the Aramco attacks, saying it was working with its allies.

Boris Johnson briefed reporters on Britain’s position on responsibility for the attack on Aramco oilfields while flying to New York. Johnson, like many leaders and leaders around the world, has traveled to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

Meeting Rouhani and Trump

“I can tell you that the UK is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran for the Aramco attacks. We think it very likely indeed that Iran was indeed responsible, using both drones and cruise missiles. Clearly, the difficulty is how do we organize a global response, what is the way forward. We’ll be working with our American friends and our European friends to construct a response that tries to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf region,” Boris Johnson told reporters.

The British prime minister also announced a visit with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He said he would meet with the Iranian president on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Also, Johnson is expected to meet with US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to New York. He has said that the UK wants to act as a bridge between the US and European countries to resolve the Gulf crisis.

Europe and the United States, however, have very different approaches to the Middle East crisis. European countries, including the United Kingdom, continue to demand the reinstatement of the nuclear agreement and adherence to the obligations arising out of it. The United States officially withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in May last year.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN.

Prime Minister Johnson and President Trump also had a phone call on Wednesday. A focus of the talks between the two politicians was the subject of attacks on Saudi oil facilities and the two countries’ joint response to the attacks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi officials have said Iran’s involvement in the attack on Aramco’s oil facilities is certain. Pompeo has described the attack on the Abqaiq refinery as well as the Khurais oil field as an “act of war.”

The United Nations has sent a delegation to the region to investigate the attacks. The mission is intended to verify the statements of US officials as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, the issue of how the United States, Saudi Arabia, and their Western allies react to what has been called an “act of war” is a matter that has caught the minds of politicians and media commentators.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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