What Happened: France, Germany and the United Kingdom have declared Iran responsible for last week's attack on Saudi oil facilities and called on Tehran to join wide-ranging talks over its nuclear and missile programs, the French Embassy in London said Sept. 23.
Why It Matters: The announcement suggests that Iran might have acted too stridently in the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, as the three countries could now adopt a harder line on the Islamic republic. While the European heavyweights are likely to continue championing diplomacy in discussions with Tehran, they appear to poised to demand that any negotiations now address broader issues, like the Iranian missile program, rather than just its nuclear program.
Background: Iran has been widely implicated in a Sept. 14 attack on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil production facilities belonging to the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. that forced 5.7 million barrels per day of production offline.
- Saudi Arabia: More Information About Damage at Oil Processing Complexes Emerges (Sept. 20, 2019)
- Q&A: Why Did Iran Attack Saudi Arabia? (Sept. 20, 2019)
- Short on Options, Iran Calls Trump's Bluff (Sept. 19, 2019)