Rouhani to E3: Attributing Aramco strike to Iran is based on ‘groundless blame game'

September 24, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticized the E3 -- France, Germany, and the UK -- for their Monday statement in which Iran was blamed for the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities claimed by Yemen's Ansarullah movement.

Speaking in a Monday meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in New York, the Iranian president rejected the statement as "groundless blame game".

Leaders of 🇫🇷, 🇩🇪 and the 🇬🇧 just met in NYC #UNGA and issued a joint statement:

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. pic.twitter.com/5uf94Do5ND

— Raphaël Justine (@RaphJustine) September 23, 2019

In a joint statement earlier in the day, the leaders of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom strongly condemned the September 14 attacks on oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, and pinned the blame on Tehran.

"It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation," the statement read.

"We support ongoing investigations to establish further details," it added.

A few hours before releasing the statement, Macron had warned that "one must be very careful in attributing responsibility" for the Aramco attacks.

"There are clusters of clues, but this bombardment is a new military event that changes the region's ecosystem," he said, stressing that caution was needed in apportioning blame for the attack.

The statement came after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leveled the same accusations against Iran while speaking to reporters on the plane while flying to New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Johnson said his country believes Iran was behind the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities and added that London would work with the United States and European allies to de-escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Iran later dismissed Johnson's comments, urging him to stop selling arms to Riyadh instead of accusing Tehran.

"The British government, instead of [making] fruitless efforts against the Islamic Republic of Iran, should take action to stop selling lethal weapons to Saudi Arabia, which is a demand of many people in the world, and should release itself from the accusation of committing war crimes against the people of Yemen," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

On September 14, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and their allies in the Yemeni army deployed as many as 10 drones to bomb Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities run by the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco.

The unprecedented attack knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or five percent of global supply, prompting Saudi and US officials to claim without any evidence that it probably originated from Iraq or Iran.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of carrying out the attack on Aramco installations. Tehran, however, has rejected the allegations.

(Source: Press TV)