‘Britain should stop selling arms to Saudis instead of accusing Iran’

September 23, 2019

TEHRAN – Tehran says London should stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia instead of accusing the Islamic Republic of being responsible for attacks on the Saudi oil facilities.

“The government of England, instead of making fruitless efforts against the Islamic Republic of Iran, should act to stop selling deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia, which is the request of many people in the world, and release itself from accusations of committing war crimes against the Yemeni people,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday, according to ISNA.

It came after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed there was a “very high degree of probability” that Iran was behind the drone and missile attacks on two oil facilities on September 14.

Iran has rejected the accusations, saying it is courageous enough to claim responsibility for anything it does.

The British prime minister declined to rule out military intervention and said sanctions were also a possibility.

Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran of carrying out the 14 September attacks, in which 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit an oil field and processing facility.

The U.S., which also blames Iran, is sending more troops to Saudi Arabia.

Johnson added that the United Kingdom desires to avoid any escalation in the Persian Gulf region.

Speaking to reporters on his plane en route to the UN General Assembly in New York, he said he saw the UK’s role as “serving as a bridge between our European friends and the Americans” on the issue of de-escalating regional tension.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that “even the Saudis themselves don’t believe the fiction of Iranian involvement” in the attacks on the Aramco oil facilities.

He said on Thursday that a military strike against Iran by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia would result in “an all-out war”.
 
“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation. But we won’t blink to defend our territory,” he told CNN.

Zarif said that Iran hoped to avoid conflict, adding that the country was willing to talk to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

MH/NA/PA

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