Britain has concluded that Iran was responsible for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday. He said the U.K. would consider taking part in a U.S.-led military effort to bolster the Gulf kingdom's defenses, while Iran's president announced plans for a rival Iranian-led security coalition.
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The U.K. Conservative prime minister also said the he would work with allies to "de-escalate" Middle East tensions that have soared since the Sept. 14 attack on the world's largest oil processor and an oil field.
Britain had previously held back from attributing blame for the drone and missile attack. Saudi Arabia and the United States say Iran was responsible, something Tehran denies.
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Johnson told reporters flying with him late Sunday to New York for the UN.General Assembly that now "the U.K. is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran" for the attack by drones and cruise missiles.
"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," Johnson said.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani at the National Army Day parade, Tehran, September 22, 2019. Iranian president’s website / Handout via Reuters
Shortly before leaving for the UN meetings Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said that his country will invite "all littoral states of the Persian Gulf" to join an Iranian-led coalition "to guarantee the region's security."