(September 23, 2019 / JNS) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that his country is “attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran” for the Sept. 14 drone and cruise missile strike against the world’s top-producing oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
Britain had previously avoided attributing blame for the attack, which caused severe damage at the Abqaiq and Khurais plants, though Saudi Arabia and the United States quickly asserted that Iran was the culprit, based on evidence they claim to have gathered from the site and through intelligence reports.
Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, however they are not believed to possess the technological sophistication necessary to have carried out the attacks. Saudi Arabia supports the Yemeni government, and is accused of primary responsibility for a blockade of Yemen, which has led to widespread starvation.
Speaking to reporters accompanying him on a flight to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York on Monday, Johnson said that Britain is considering taking part in a U.S.-led military campaign to increase defense for Saudi Arabia in the wake of the attacks.
Johnson also said Britain will work to calm Middle East tensions.
“We will be working with our American friends and our European friends to construct a response that tries to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf region,” he said.
Johnson will reportedly meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. meeting, as well as with U.S. President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Iran has denied committing the attacks against Saudi Arabia.
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