By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. would consider joining US-led military efforts to protect Saudi Arabia on Monday.
Speaking to reporters on his way to the U.S. for the UN’s General Assembly meeting early on Monday, Johnson said "the U.K. is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran for the Aramco attacks".
"We will be following that very closely," Johnson said.
"And clearly if we are asked, either by the Saudis or by the Americans, to have a role, then we will consider in what way we could be useful ... depending on what the exact plan is," he added.
Johnson reiterated the U.K.’s position that it would be working with the U.S. and other partners "to construct a response that tries to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf region".
He also said the sanctions against Iran are still on the table.
Tension has escalated in the Gulf after drones hit two oil facilities in the north of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14.
Yemen’s Houthi rebel group initially claimed responsibility for the attack, but the U.S. has since then blamed Iran, as has Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Republic has denied any connection to the strikes.
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on a "coordinated response."
"We are working to build a coalition to develop a plan to deter them," he said.
"This is what needs to happen. This is an attack on a scale that we’ve just not seen before," Pompeo said, describing the assault as "an act of war".
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi on Sunday vowed a "crushing response" to any attack on the country, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
"In case of any miscalculation and aggression by the enemy, army’s navy, along with other armed forces of the country, will give the most crushing reaction in the shortest time possible," he said.