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UK News Johnson refuses to rule out military action against Iran

08:35  23 september  2019
08:35  23 september  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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a view of a forest: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia © Other Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia Britain has formally identified Iran as being behind drone and missile strikes on Saudi Arabian oil fields, raising the chance of the UK joining military efforts in the Middle East.

Boris Johnson says the UK government is attributing responsibility to the regime in Tehran "with a very high degree of probability".

Flying to New York for the UN General Assembly, the prime minister said he wanted to "de-escalate tensions" but refused to rule out taking part in any coordinated military action if Britain is asked to do so.

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Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: The PM has refused to rule out military action against Iran © Sky News Screen Grab The PM has refused to rule out military action against Iran

The UK has followed the United States and Saudi Arabia in pointing the finger of blame at Iran, rather than accepting the claims of responsibility by Houthi rebels for the attacks a week ago - the Iranians have denied any involvement.

Drone and cruise missile strikes crippled the Khurais oil field and Abqaiq oil processing facility in eastern Saudi Arabia, a key part of the country's oil production infrastructure.

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Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Mike Pompeo  described the attacks an 'act of war' © Ooyala - Sky News UK Mike Pompeo described the attacks an 'act of war' Mike Pompey, the US Secretary of State, has called the attacks an "act of war".

Mr Johnson has made it clear that he was prepared to consider all requests for assistance as he prepares to meet both President Donald Trump and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran in the sidelines of the UN meeting.

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Speaking to reporters, Mr Johnson said: "Everyone wants to do what they can to bring the world together in response to what happened in Saudi Arabia in our management of Iran.

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"The UK is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran for the Aramco attacks. We think it is very likely that Iran was indeed responsible. Using both UAVs, both drones and cruise missiles. The difficulty is how do we organise a global response - what is the way forward?

Boris Johnson Claims 'No Memory' Of Lunch With Charlotte Edwardes – But Maintains Groping Allegation Is Not True

  Boris Johnson Claims 'No Memory' Of Lunch With Charlotte Edwardes – But Maintains Groping Allegation Is Not True Boris Johnson has revealed he has “no memory” of the private lunch at which he is alleged to have groped journalist Charlotte Edwardes, but maintains the allegation is “not true” even so. The prime minister has been accused of squeezing Edwardes’ thigh under the table during a private lunch when he was editor of The Spectator in 1999. He has repeatedly denied the claim as it threatened to overshadow the Conservative party conference in Manchester.But when asked by ITV News on Tuesday if he remembered the lunch, he said: “I don’t, to be honest, I have no memory whatever.

"We will be working with our American friends and our European friends to construct a response that tries to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf region."

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: The PM will meet Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly © Getty The PM will meet Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly Britain is understood to have concluded that the Houthis claim it is responsible is implausible, based on imagery which sources said show remnants of Iranian-made missiles that have a range and sophistication inconsistent with the Houthis.

This level of sophistication, Britain believes, points to Iranian involvement which the British government has conclude is implausible without authorisation by the Iranian government

Asked whether he would rule out military action and stick with the Iran nuclear deal, Mr Johnson replied: "Well - on what kind of action we could take, you'll have seen the Americans are proposing to do more to help to defend Saudi Arabia.

a young girl holding a baby: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016 © Other Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016 "We will be following that closely and clearly if we are asked by the Americans or Saudis to have a role, we will consider in what way we can be useful."

Pressed on whether this could mean Britain taking part in military action, he replied: "We will consider all (options) if asked and depending on what exact plan."

Workers at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq © Other Workers at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq

Mr Johnson said he would be raising the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British Iranian jailed national when he meets with President Rouhani.

"On Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other very sad dual national consular cases held in Tehran, as you can imagine in the course of my talks with President Rouhani which I will also be having - in my talks with President Rouhani I will not only be discussing Iran's actions in the region but the need to release not just Nazanin but others, and I will argue they are being illegally held."

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Boris Johnson Claims 'No Memory' Of Lunch With Charlotte Edwardes – But Maintains Groping Allegation Is Not True .
Boris Johnson has revealed he has “no memory” of the private lunch at which he is alleged to have groped journalist Charlotte Edwardes, but maintains the allegation is “not true” even so. The prime minister has been accused of squeezing Edwardes’ thigh under the table during a private lunch when he was editor of The Spectator in 1999. He has repeatedly denied the claim as it threatened to overshadow the Conservative party conference in Manchester.But when asked by ITV News on Tuesday if he remembered the lunch, he said: “I don’t, to be honest, I have no memory whatever.

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