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Britain, France, Germany blame Iran for Saudi oil attacks

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2019-09-25   Views:88
The leaders of Britain, France and Germany on Monday blamed Iran for the September 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities, following pressure from the US to boost international pressure on the Iranian regime.

"It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack," French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement following a meeting at the United Nations. "There is no other plausible explanation."
Shortly before the statement was released, Brian Hook, the US Department of State's special representative for Iran, on Monday blamed Iran for the attacks, calling on other nations to press for accountability.

"Silence amounts to complicity," Hook said during an appearance at the Asia Society in New York City.

While Houthi fighters in Yemen have claimed credit for the attack on the Abqaiq crude processing facility and Khurais oil field, Hook said the missiles fired did not have the range to reach Abqaiq.

"We know based on intelligence and open source analysis that these attacks were conducted by Iran," Hook said. "We are confident in this assessment. The evidence, including the complexity, scope, and impact of the attack, indicates this is the case."

In an interview with CBS Face the Nation Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attack, which disrupted an estimated 5.7 million b/d of Saudi oil supply, "an attack by Iran on the world. This was an act of war."

Hook said Monday: "We are one missile strike away from a regional war."

Hook said that the US would "continue to intensify" its maximum pressure campaign on Iran, and pointed to US oil sanctions which he said have reduced revenues to the Iranian regime by $50 billion.

Oil prices, which initially climbed nearly 20% following the attacks, have traded about $5/b higher as the market weighs just how fast Saudi production will fully return.

On Monday, NYMEX front-month crude settled 55 cents higher at $58.64/b, while ICE front-month Brent settled 49 cents higher at $64.77/b.
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