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Johnson: UK Has Determined Iran Was Behind Saudi Attack

He says Britain might join military effort
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 23, 2019 12:48 AM CDT
Updated Sep 23, 2019 6:56 AM CDT
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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson boards his plane at London's Heathrow Airport as he heads off for the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.   (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)
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(Newser) – Britain has concluded that Iran was responsible for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday. He said the UK would consider taking part in a US-led military effort to bolster the Gulf kingdom's defenses. But the Conservative prime minister also said the UK would work with allies to "de-escalate" Middle East tensions that have soared since the Sept. 14 attack on the world's largest oil processor and an oil field, the AP reports. Britain had previously held back from attributing blame for the drone and missile attack. Saudi Arabia and the United States say Iran was responsible.

Johnson told reporters flying with him late Sunday to New York for the UN General Assembly that now "the UK is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran" for the attack by drones and cruise missiles. Johnson said he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at this week's high-level UN gathering. The Trump administration announced Friday that it would send additional US troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as part of a "defensive" deployment. "We will be following that very closely," Johnson said. "And clearly if we are asked, either by the Saudis or by the Americans, to have a role, then we will consider in what way we could be useful."

(Read more Iran stories.)

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