British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday told reporters on his plane going to the UN general assembly in New York that he believes Iran was responsible for the two major attacks on Saudi oil facilities on September 14.
Johnson said there was “a very high degree of probability” Iran was behind the drone and missile attacks.
Johnson told the same reporters he intends to use his time in New York to “bring the world together in response to what happened in Saudi Arabia, in our management of Iran.”
Johnson said: “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.”
Johnson said he also plans to meet Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani in New York, as well as President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron, and to serve as “a bridge between our European friends and the Americans when it comes to the crisis in the Gulf.”
The Trump administration announced Friday that it plans to send several hundred additional troops, as well as missile defense equipment, to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in what was described as a “defensive” deployment.
Johnson, for his part, advocated for a diplomatic response to the tensions in the Gulf, but did not rule out a British military involvement, should the Gulf states request it.
“…Clearly if we are asked, either by the Saudis or by the Americans, to have a role, then we will consider in what way we could be useful. We will consider in what way we could be useful, if asked, depending on what the exact plan is,” Johnson stated.
Iran denied responsibility for the attacks, warning that any military retaliation against it would result in an “all-out war.”