Iran’s president has said his country’s message to the world is “peace and stability” – as the UK, France and Germany jointly blamed Tehran for the attack on a Saudi oil facility.
Speaking from New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly, Hassan Rouhani said: “We want to tell the world that the situation in the Persian Gulf is very sensitive.”
It comes as France, Germany and the UK jointly blamed Iran for the 14 September attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
A joint statement by the countries’ three leaders said: “The time has come for Iran to accept a long term negotiation framework for its nuclear program, as well as regional security issues, which include its missile programs.”
The statement was released after a meeting between Boris Johnson, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron to coordinate a strategy on Iran as the European parties attempt to save a 2015 nuclear deal and defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran.
“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation,” the statement read.
Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks on the Khurais oil field and Abqaiq oil processing facility, which shook global oil markets.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, stressed “it would be stupid for Iran to engage in such activity”.
The US and Saudi Arabia have also accused Iran of launching the attacks, which Yemen Houthi rebels earlier claimed as a response to the Saudi-led war there which has killed tens and thousands of people.
Boris Johnson placed the blame on Iran earlier in the day, though it was the first time France and Germany had done so.
The British prime minister said on Sunday while flying to New York that the UK is now “attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran” for the attacks by drones and missiles on the Saudi Aramco facilities.
He also said the UK would consider taking part in a US-led military effort to support Saudi Arabia’s defences.
However, Mr Johnson later said US President Donald Trump should strike a new deal with Tehran, telling NBC that “there’s one guy who can do a better deal… and that is the president of the United States. I hope there will be a Trump deal.”
The three countries said they remained committed to the 2015 nuclear deal, but demanded that Tehran return to full compliance.
“We are committed to continuing our diplomatic efforts to create conditions and facilitate dialogue with all relevant partners interested in de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East,” the leaders said.
France has been looking for a diplomatic solution to the US-Iranian tensions, which have heightened in recent months.
During a news conference at the UN, Mr Macron said he planned to meet separately with both Mr Trump and Mr Rouhani over the next day in an attempt to foster “the conditions for discussion” and not escalation.
When asked about the French president’s plan to mediate between the two countries, Mr Trump said: “We don’t need a mediator… they (Iran) know who to call”.
Mr Trump quit a deal last year that assures Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. The US reimposed sanctions on Iran and last week imposed new sanctions on Iran’s central bank following its alleged involvement in the attacks.