On September 23rd, the UK, Germany and France issued a joint statement accusing Iran of carrying out the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.
“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.”
Regardless of this, the three signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOAE, the Iran Nuclear Deal) said that they still reiterate their commitment to the deal, but used the chance to urge Iran to stop reducing commitment to it.
“In this regard, we recall our continued commitment to the JCPoA, agreed with Iran on July 14th, 2015 and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council. We urge Iran once again to reverse its decisions to reduce compliance with the deal and to adhere fully to its commitments under it. We call upon Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA in the framework of the JCPoA and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.”
The U.S. thanks our close friends, UK, France, and Germany, for their clear articulation of Iran’s sole responsibility for the act of war against Saudi Arabia and its impact on the region and the world.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 24, 2019
In a general response to the European signatories to the deal, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the UK, Germany and France should put more effort into action, rather than simply “parroting” US claims and being paralyzed “without US permission.”
E3's paralysis in fulfilling their obligations w/o US permission has been clear since May 2018.
Solution to this deficiency: mustering will to forge independent path—not parroting absurd US claims & requests INCONSISTENT with JCPOA.
No new deal before compliance w/ current one.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 23, 2019
At the UN, Zarif further accused the US of being behind the “vicious cycle” of wars in the Middle East.
“Why do we have this vicious cycle? They first pay Saddam to attack us, then Saddam attacks them, they pay the United States to attack Saddam. Then, the US installs a new government in Iraq. They pay somebody else to undermine that government in Iraq.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and French President Emmanuel Macron met at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and reiterated their commitment to establishing peace in the Middle East, despite France accusing Iran of carrying out the attacks.
President Rouhani underscored the responsibility of the JCPOA signatories namely France for preserving the nuclear deal after the US unlawful withdrawal. He also criticized E3 (Germany, UK and France) for their recent statement and their baseless allegations to complicate Iran in attacks on the Saudi refineries.
The harshest tone Iran appeared to have towards UK out of the three European countries.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi rejected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s accusations of Iran carrying the attacks on the Kingdom’s Aramco, and condemning it for still continuing weapon sales to Riyadh.
“Instead of making futile efforts against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the British government had better stop the sales of deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia… and clear itself of the charge of war crimes against the Yemeni people,” Mousavi said.
Johnson suggested the UK would consider taking part in a US-led military effort to bolster Saudi Arabia’s defences in the Persian Gulf.
Rouhani is to meet with Boris Johnson later on September 24th.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, said that “enemies” who try to attack Iran will face “captivity and defeat”.
“We have repeatedly told the enemy that if there is any violation toward this country, they will face the same action that took place with the American drone and the English tanker,” he was quoted by Tasnim news agency.
The statement by the UK, France and Germany is unlikely to lead to anything concrete, it is simply one more piece of evidence that the US treats all of its “allies” rather as subordinates in its pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Iran on September 23rd released the seized British tanker – the Stena Impero, as a gesture of good will, aimed at reducing tensions between the UK and the Islamic Republic ahead of the meeting between Rouhani and Johnson.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Iran Frees UK-Flagged Stena Impero A Day Before Crucial UN Summit
- Iranian Foreign Minister: “I’m not confident that we can avoid a war”