European powers back U.S. in blaming Iran for Saudi oil attack

Vastavam web: Britain, Germany and France backed the United States and blamed Iran on Monday for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, urging Tehran to agree to new talks with world powers on its nuclear and missile programs and regional security issues. The Europeans issued a joint statement after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron met at the United Nations on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders.

But Iran ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal with powers, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday, saying European partners have failed to fulfill their commitments under a 2015 nuclear pact. European leaders have struggled to defuse a brewing confrontation between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President Donald Trump quit a deal last year that assures Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

“The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles programme and other means of delivery,” Britain, France and Germany said. Tension rose on Sept. 14 following an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which Riyadh and Washington have blamed on Iran. Tehran denies responsibility, and Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has been battling a Saudi-led military coalition, has said it carried out the attack.

“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details,” Britain, France and Germany said. Macron has led a European push over the summer to find a compromise between the United States and Iran and wants to use the U.N. meeting as an opportunity to revive diplomacy, though his efforts have stalled in recent weeks.

The United States was seeking to address the issue through diplomacy and a multilateral effort, and there was a role for the United Nations Security Council to play, Hook said without elaborating.