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Iran is Responsible for Attacking Saudi Oil Facilities: UK

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that Britain has concluded that Iran is responsible for the attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia.
He added that the UK would consider taking part in a US-led military effort to strengthen the Gulf’s defences, while the Iranian president announced plans for a rival security coalition led by the United States.
The British Conservative Prime Minister has also said that he will work with his allies to “defuse” tensions in the Middle East, which have skyrocketed since the attack on the world’s largest oil processor and oilfield on September 14th.
Johnson told reporters who were accompanying him to New York for the UN General Assembly that “now, the United Kingdom attributes to Iran the very likely responsibility” for the drone and cruise missile attack.
“We will work with our American and our European friends to develop an answer that tries to defuse the tensions in the Gulf region,” said Johnson.
Shortly before going to UN meetings, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country would invite “all Persian Gulf coastal states to join an Iran-led coalition” to guarantee security of the region.
His remarks were broadcast on public television.
Rouhani said the plan – which he will detail at the United Nations – is not limited to “security”, but also includes economic cooperation and a “long-term” peace initiative.
Johnson said he will meet Rouhani at the UN high-level rally this week. Johnson is also expected to hold talks with US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. He said he wanted Britain to be “a bridge between our European friends and the Americans with regard to the crisis in the Gulf”.
The United States and Europe have diverged on how to deal with Iran. European nations, including Britain, are still adhering to an international agreement aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but Trump has pulled the United States out of the deal.
Johnson stressed the need for a diplomatic response to Gulf tensions, but said Britain would consider any request for military aid.
“We will follow that very closely,” Johnson said. “And clearly, if the Saudis or Americans ask us to play a role, we will look at how we might be useful, and we will look at how we could be useful, if we are asked, based on what the exact plan is.”
A British official told the Associated Press that a claim of responsibility for the attacks perpetrated in Yemen by Iranian rebel allies was “implausible”. He said Iranian-built cruise missile remains had been discovered at the attack site, and that “the degree of sophistication is very, very strongly linked to Iranian involvement.” He spoke of the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence results.
The official did not say whether Britain thought the attack had been launched from Iranian soil.
Iran denies responsibility and warned that any retaliation attack against it would lead to “an all-out war”.
Rouhani said Monday that the US exaggerated the scale of the damage caused by the attacks on the Saudi oil company and used this excuse to send more troops and equipment into the kingdom.
“It is clear that they would like to take over completely the oil from eastern Saudi Arabia,” he said.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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