On 14 September, two drones attacked Saudi Aramco oil facilities, leading to a major fire and partially disrupting oil production. The attack was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi faction, but Washington has put the blame on Iran.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that Iran was behind the 14 September attacks against Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.
“The time has come for Iran to accept a long term negotiation framework for its nuclear program, as well as regional security issues, which include its missile programs”, the three governments said in a joint statement.
“We condemn with the utmost firmness the attacks that targeted oil sites on Saudi territory, on September 14, 2019 in Abqaiq and Khurais, and reaffirm our full solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people […] It is clear to us that Iran is responsible for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support the ongoing investigations for full details”, the joint statement, released by France on Monday, reads.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said earlier that France, the UK and Germany will also discuss the situation around the Iranian JCPOA nuclear deal at the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York.
Last week, the Saudi Defence Ministry held a press conference to present what it described as evidence of Iran’s involvement in the attacks. Tehran has refuted the accusations.
According to recent reports, the full restoration of Saudi Aramco’s oil operations after the attacks may take months. The attack resulted in more than a twofold drop in Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output and caused a surge of oil prices.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Washington seeks to use the recent drone attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities to its advantage by striking billion-dollar deals and attaining a permanent presence in the Middle East.
On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition launched an operation against military facilities said to belong to Shia Houthi rebels in the northern part of the Yemeni province of Al Hudaydah, less than a week after the drone attack.