European powers back U.S. in blaming Iran for Saudi oil attack, urge broader talks

FILE PHOTO: Remains of the missiles which Saudi government says were used to attack an Aramco oil facility, are displayed during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

Britain, Germany and France backed the United States and blamed Iran on Monday for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, urging Tehran to agree to new talks with world powers on its nuclear and missile programs and regional security issues.

The Europeans issued a joint statement after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron met at the United Nations on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders. 

But Iran ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal with powers, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday, saying European partners have failed to fulfil their commitments under a 2015 nuclear pact.

European leaders have struggled to defuse a brewing confrontation between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President Donald Trump quit a deal last year that assures Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.