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

30 Comments
By John Irish and Kylie MacLellan

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.

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 United States reimposed sanctions on Iran and recently sharply tightened them. Iran has responded by breaching some of the limits on nuclear material in the 2015 accord and has set an October deadline to reduce its nuclear commitments further unless the Europeans keep their promises to salvage the pact.

"The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles program and other means of delivery," Britain, France and Germany said.

Tensions rose on Sept. 14 with 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 in a statement.

Macron has led a European push over the summer to find a compromise between Washington and Tehran and wants to use the U.N. meeting as an opportunity to revive diplomacy, though his efforts have stalled in recent weeks.

When asked about Macron's attempt to mediate, U.S. President Donald Trump said: "We don't need a mediator ... they (Iran) know who to call."

The United States will intensify pressure on Iran, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook said in New York on Monday.

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

In an interview with U.S. network NBC on Monday, Johnson said Trump was "the one guy who can do a better deal ... I hope there will be a Trump deal."

Trump flirted with meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while both are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, but the chances appear slim.

"We haven't received any requests this time, yet, for a meeting and we have made it clear a request alone will not do the job," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New York earlier on Monday. "A negotiation has to be for a reason, for an outcome, not just for a handshake."

He said there are conditions for a meeting - Iran has demanded the United States lift sanctions - and then there could be a meeting between Iran, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China - the original parties to the nuclear deal - but there would be no bilateral meeting.

Speaking after he arrived in New York on Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran's message to the world "is peace, stability and also we want to tell the world that the situation in the Persian Gulf is very sensitive," the state news agency IRNA reported.

Trump has criticized the nuclear accord, negotiated under then-U.S. President Barack Obama, for "sunset" clauses by which some of its provisions will expire as well as for its failure to address Iran's missile program and regional activities.

A senior Gulf official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Gulf countries, the United States, the Europeans and others needed to engage in "collective diplomacy" to defuse tensions.

"The conversation should no longer be about the JCPOA (nuclear deal) but Iran's missile program and its regional misbehavior, which are as important if not more important - they have the potential to hold the region to ransom," the official said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments

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Germany and France agreeing that Iran perpetrated the attacks gives the accusation credibility it lacked when only Donny was mouthing off about it being Iran.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Germany and France agreeing that Iran perpetrated the attacks gives the accusation credibility it lacked when only Donny was mouthing off about it being Iran.

Very true. American claims cannot be trusted without outside third-party verification

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So how's that new nuclear deal coming along?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program"

What happened to the one they had?  Oh yes, now I remember.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Since Saudi Arabia has decimated Yemen with attack after attack after attack; is it really implausible to assume that the Houthis would NOT counter attack?

Iran has denied the attack but the Houthis admitted to it.

And Iran gets the blame-strange...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Germany and France agreeing that Iran perpetrated the attacks gives the accusation credibility it lacked when only Donny was mouthing off about it being Iran.

Funny, as if it could have been someone else, any sensible person knows the attacks were staged by Iran, even with absence of caffeine it’s quite clear that they were responsible, there was never any doubt....oh, wait...The liberal media needed another ratings boost, bad few weeks for them again...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Wouldn't it be great if Trump could get this to happen:

the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany)[a] together with the European Union.

and

legislation passed by the Senate in a 98-1 vote and the House in a 400-25 vote,

to resolve some of the issues with Iran.

If he could, it would justify President Obama having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

American claims cannot be trusted without outside third-party verification

Didn't the same clowns sign off on the iraq debacle? Give me a break. Iran is not iraq. If they make the mistake of attacking it, it will be countless body bags heading back to the irrespective aggressor state. This is fact.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Funny, as if it could have been someone else, any sensible person knows the attacks were staged by Iran

Any sensible person cannot ignore the fact that the USA invaded Iraq, a sovereign nation who were complying with UN demands, based on lies that they assured us were fact. Any sensible person has also seen Trump repeatedly speak falsehoods over the past four years at an alarming rate.

So no, any sensible person could not take the claims of Trump’s USA at face value. Independent third party verification is a requirement to believe American claims.

Unfortunately Republican presidents this century have destroyed America’s word. No longer can the benefit of the doubt be given.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Didn't the same clowns sign off on the iraq debacle? 

Nope. The USA unilaterally invaded Iraq. There was no sign off by anyone before they did it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Any sensible person cannot ignore the fact that the USA invaded Iraq, a sovereign nation who were complying with UN demands, based on lies that they assured us were fact. Any sensible person has also seen Trump repeatedly speak falsehoods over the past four years at an alarming rate. 

Iraq did not allow U.N. inspectors full and unfettered access to every single site.

So no, any sensible person could not take the claims of Trump’s USA at face value. Independent third party verification is a requirement to believe American claims. 

Hmmm...I disagree. Slow ratings month for the liberal media, but I get it pandemonium sells.

Unfortunately Republican presidents this century have destroyed America’s word. No longer can the benefit of the doubt be given.

Democrat Presidents destroyed not only the credibility, but gave the world impression that America will run cowardly, apologize capitulate for God knows what and sit by while or adversaries gobble up our allies.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Iraq did not allow U.N. inspectors full and unfettered access to every single site.

Hans Blix, the head inspector, said they had received full and unfettered access to every single site.

But you would have me believe you over him. Yeah, right.

I disagree.

Well that kind of makes my point doesn’t it. I said any sensible person. You are the most biased person on this site. Bias destroys sensibility.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hans Blix, the head inspector, said they had received full and unfettered access to every single site.

Specifically, the resolution noted that Iraq had failed to comply on many scores by concealing activities, not providing access, and not making full disclosures as required. The resolution stated that Iraq’s failures put it in “material breach of its acceptance of the relevant provisions of resolution 687 which established a cease-fire and provided the conditions essential to the restoration of peace and security in the region.” The implication of this language was that if Iraq was in violation of its obligations of the cease-fire resolution, then military operations against Iraq might be resumed.

https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2002-09/features/inevitable-failure-inspections-iraq

You are the most biased person on this site. Bias destroys sensibility.

No, I just don’t and refuse to dwell in the fantasy world of “if only”

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Pathetic Johnson brown-nosing Trump by saying Trump would be the one to get a better deal with Iran. Dream on Boris and Donald!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Specifically, the resolution noted that Iraq had failed to comply on many scores by concealing activities, not providing access, and not making full disclosures as required.

Hans Blix comments:

Since we arrived in Iraq, we have conducted more than 400 inspections covering more than 300 sites. All inspections were performed without notice, and access was almost always provided promptly. In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew in advance that the inspectors were coming.

The inspections have taken place throughout Iraq at industrial sites, ammunition depots, research centres, universities, presidential sites, mobile laboratories, private houses, missile production facilities, military camps and agricultural sites. At all sites which had been inspected before 1998, re-baselining activities were performed. This included the identification of the function and contents of each building, new or old, at a site. It also included verification of previously tagged equipment, application of seals and tags, taking samples and discussions with the site personnel regarding past and present activities. At certain sites, ground-penetrating radar was used to look for underground structures or buried equipment.

And:

More than 200 chemical and more than 100 biological samples have been collected at different sites. Three-quarters of these have been screened using our own analytical laboratory capabilities at the Baghdad Centre (BOMVIC). The results to date have been consistent with Iraq's declarations.

And:

In my 27 January update to the Council, I said that it seemed from our experience that Iraq had decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, most importantly prompt access to all sites and assistance to UNMOVIC in the establishment of the necessary infrastructure. This impression remains, and we note that access to sites has so far been without problems, including those that had never been declared or inspected, as well as to Presidential sites and private residences.

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/feb/14/iraq.unitednations1

So, I'll take the word of Blix over far-right American propaganda.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Did anyone expect the Western Wimps to do anything else?

Where is the evidence that it was Iran, not the "almost certain, possibly, most likely". The hard solid evidence? Why has this solid evidence been published?

Is this the same type of evidence that was used to invade Iraq?

Seem more like the same, an attempt by the US to gather an alliance of the "willing".

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Germany and France agreeing that Iran perpetrated the attacks gives the accusation credibility it lacked when only Donny was mouthing off about it being Iran.

So Donny was right. No credit where credit is due? Jeez...

So how's that new nuclear deal coming along?

it's not. The Iranians refuse to negotiate. Maybe you can convince them to get with the program.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So Donny was right. No credit where credit is due? Jeez...

So it turns out he didn't lie this time. He doesn't get credit for not lying. That's like giving someone credit for not getting thrown in jail, or giving them credit for paying their rent.

The Iranians refuse to negotiate.

The Iranians negotiated an agreement that six nations agreed to. They have shown they are clearly willing to negotiate.

The US on the other hand ripped up the agreement, put crippling sanctions on Iran, and have demanded... um... actually, they haven't demanded anything. Trump and his team simply whine that Iran isn't doing something that no one has laid out what they should do.

Iran: Iraq 2, the debacle repeats.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Iran: Iraq 2, the debacle repeats.

Iran is not going to be Iraq 2. There's not going to be any U.S. troops on the ground in Iran.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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 time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles program and other means of delivery," Britain, France and Germany said.

....."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 in a statement.

Iran attacked the Saudi oil facilities. Iran denied they attacked the oil facility. Iran lied.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Time for the citizens of Britain, Germany, France, and the United States to get rid of their zionist puppets...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Strangerland - So it turns out he didn't lie this time.

It appears that the current sanctions against Iran are effective, and Britain, Germany and France will be increasing that pressure. Iran can stomp it's feet, launch drones, fire missiles, and hold it's collective breath until it turns blue, but that will only prove to other nations that world pressure on Iran should be increased.  Eventually, Iran will see that it is in it's own best interest to stop attacking, and harassing, it's neighbors.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Did anyone expect the Western Wimps to do anything else?

Says a poster from Australia, which is part of the West.

Eventually, Iran will see that it is in it's own best interest to stop attacking, and harassing, it's neighbors.

Then negotiate some sort of truce and receive sanctions relief only for the US to back about again when republicans give us their next gem of a president? Not everyone is as self-deluding as Trumpophiles.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Council reminded Iraq of its obligations under the Geneva Protocol and to unconditionally remove and destroy all chemicaland biological weapons and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150km. As part of this demand, the Council requested Iraq submit, within 15 days, a report declaring all locations of all the aforementioned weapons and agree to urgent, on-site inspections. It then established the United Nations Special Commission relating to inspections and set provisions for it, and asked Iraq to abide by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreeing not to develop nuclear weapons and submitting a report to the Secretary-General and International Atomic Energy Agency within 15 days. The resolution noted that these actions "represent steps towards the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons".

So, I'll take the word of Blix over far-right American propaganda.

Which they didn’t do. But at least we got Saddam and he’s no more, what a great relief.

I will take that any day over bending over appeasing or capitulation to any enemy. No Saddam and No Gaddafi, thanks Hillary and Obama on that one good thing they accomplished.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

America/Britain had no authority or mandate from the UN making it an illegal war.

The commission of inquiry of the government of the Netherlands found that the UN resolution of the 1990s provided no authority for the invasion.

The legal right to determine how to enforce its own resolutions lies with the Security Council alone (UN Charter Articles 39-42)

The UK investigation declared the Iraqi war illegal and Blair guilty of it but suffered no punishment over it.

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg held following World War II that the waging of a war of aggression is:

"essentially an evil thing...to initiate a war of aggression...is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

thanks Hillary and Obama on that one good thing they accomplished.

Then Obama must have at least done two good things because he authorised the capture and killing of Bin Laden.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The resolution noted that these actions "represent steps towards the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons".

So how is it Israel escape that with it's 200 nuclear warheads, no signatures on nuclear treaties and never allowing any inspections of its establishments. That is part of the problem not the solution.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I will take that any day over bending over appeasing or capitulation to any enemy

You must be furious at Donny for bending over, appeasing and capitulating to Kim.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Council reminded Iraq of its obligations under the Geneva Protocol and to unconditionally remove and destroy all chemicaland biological weapons and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150km. As part of this demand, the Council requested Iraq submit, within 15 days, a report declaring all locations of all the aforementioned weapons and agree to urgent, on-site inspections. It then established the United Nations Special Commission relating to inspections and set provisions for it, and asked Iraq to abide by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreeing not to develop nuclear weapons and submitting a report to the Secretary-General and International Atomic Energy Agency within 15 days. The resolution noted that these actions "represent steps towards the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons".

Yep. And Iraq was fully compliant with the weapons inspectors. But Bush and his cronies claimed 'we can't find the WMDs we know they are hiding, so we must invade, as the inspections are not working', then going against the UN, and ignoring the full compliance of Iraq towards the weapons inspectors, the US decided to, based on lies, unilaterally invade a sovereign nation who was complying with the demands of the UN.

And your response to that:

at least we got Saddam and he’s no more, what a great relief.

Yes, at least you got a guy who was complying, and was no longer a danger. It only resulted the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, hundreds of American military members, the birth of ISIS, and a power vacuum that has destroyed the region.

Seems justified right.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So how is it Israel escape that with it's 200 nuclear warheads, no signatures on nuclear treaties and never allowing any inspections of its establishments. That is part of the problem not the solution.

That is very much the problem. They control most (all?) Western leaders through blackmail (remember Epstein?) and bribes.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

hundreds of American military members

Thousands of American military members died in Iraq. Some of them very good friends of mine.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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