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France, Germany, UK blame Iran for Aramco attack

A metal part of a damaged tank is seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. (Reuters Photo)

France, Germany and the U.K. on Monday blamed Iran for an attack earlier this month on Saudi oil facilities.

"It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support the ongoing investigations for full details," the three governments said in a joint statement.

They also condemned the Sept. 14 attack, in which armed drones and missiles were reportedly used against sites run by state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and reaffirmed their solidarity with Saudi Arabia and its people.

"These attacks may have been against Saudi Arabia, but they concern all countries and increase the risk of a major conflict...The attacks also highlight the necessity of de-escalation in the region through sustained diplomatic efforts and engagement with all parties," they added.

The statement also stressed that Iran should accept negotiations over its nuclear program and regional security issues.

"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 missile program and other means of delivery."

They also urged Iran to refrain from further "provocation and escalation."

Drones hit two Aramco units in the north of Saudi Arabia in the attack, which was claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

Since 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. Thousands of Yemenis have been killed and the country has been pushed to the brink of famine.

In recent months, Houthis, whose mid- and long-range ballistic missiles are usually intercepted by Saudi air defense systems, have targeted certain strategic parts of Saudi Arabia with armed drones.

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