‘Iran did it, A to Z’: Netanyahu blames Tehran for attack on Saudi oil

PM urges international community to back Trump’s pressure campaign, as European nations join US in accusing Islamic Republic of September 14 strike

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Iran of carrying out the attack earlier this month on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, joining the United States and other European countries.

Fallout from the September 14 attacks was still reverberating as world leaders gathered for their annual meeting at the UN General Assembly and international experts continued, at Saudi Arabia’s request, to investigate what happened and who was responsible.

“Britain, France and Germany have said Iran is responsible for the recent attack on Saudi Arabia,” the premier, who skipped the UN event to focus on coalition negotiations in Israel amid a political deadlock, said in an English-language video message. “Let me say on behalf of Israel, very simply: Iran did it, A to Z.”

“Israel will know how to defend itself against this type of aggression, and we call on all members of the international community to join President Trump’s effort to increase the pressure on Iran,” Netanyahu added. “That’s the only way to stop Iran’s aggression.”

The leaders of the United Kingdom, France and Germany — who remain parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — joined the United States on Monday and said in a statement that “there is no other plausible explanation” than that “Iran bears responsibility for this attack.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he departs from Hudson Yards, in New York, September 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said late Sunday while flying to New York that the UK was “attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran” for the attacks by drones and cruise missiles on the world’s largest oil processor and an oil field. He said the UK would consider taking part in a US-led military effort to bolster Saudi Arabia’s defenses.

A UK official told The Associated Press that a claim of responsibility for the attacks by Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen was “implausible.” He said remnants of Iran-made cruise missiles were found at the attack site, and “the sophistication points very, very firmly to Iranian involvement.”

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence findings, did not say whether Britain believed the attack was launched from Iranian soil. Iran denies responsibility and has warned any retaliatory attack targeting it will result in an “all-out war.”

In this photo opportunity during a trip organized by Saudi information ministry, a man stands in front of the Khurais oil field in Khurais, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019, after it was hit during September 14 attack. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denied any part in the attacks. He said Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility, “have every reason to retaliate” for the Saudi-led coalition’s aerial attacks on their country.

He also stressed that on the eve of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the United Nations — which sits in the middle of New York City — “it would be stupid for Iran to engage in such activity.”

Shortly before leaving for the UN meetings Monday, Rouhani said on state television that his country will invite Persian Gulf nations to join an Iranian-led coalition “to guarantee the region’s security.”

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