United Nations, Sep 24 (IANS) France, Germany and Britain have jointly blamed Iran for the September 14 attack on two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and called on Tehran to accept negotiations on a long-term framework for its nuclear and missile programmes.
Joining the US in accusing Iran for the drone attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a joint statement on Monday after their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Xinhua news agency reported.
"It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation," said the statement.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility. But the three leaders in the statement reaffirmed their solidarity with Saudi Arabia, who together with the US have insisted that Iran was behind the attack.
Iran has denied all the allegations.
The attack might have been against Saudi Arabia but it concerns all countries and increases the risk of a major conflict, said the leaders.
"Conscious of the importance of collective efforts to guarantee regional stability and security, we reiterate our conviction that the time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles program and other means of delivery."
Iran, however, ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday that the three European partners have failed to fulfil their commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear pact.
"(their) paralysis in fulfilling their obligations w/o (without) US permission has been clear since May 2018... No new deal before compliance w/t (with the) current one," Zarif tweeted.
The JCPOA was inked by Iran in July 2015 with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US.
However, the US withdrawal from the deal in May 2018 and re-imposing sanctions on Iran triggered the latter to reverse its commitments.
Washington on September 20 announced its latest round of a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, including sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and its national development fund as well as the deployment of more US military assets to the Gulf region.
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