News and Commentary

British P.M. Boris Johnson: If U.S. Attacks Iran, I Might Join In
Boris Johnson
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on his way to New York to go to the United Nations, told reporters that not only does he think it is highly probable that Iran was responsible for the September 14 attack on the Aramco Oil in Saudi Arabia, but that he would consider joining the United States if the Trump administration took military action against Iran.

Johnson stated, according to The Daily Mail:

I can tell you that the UK is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran for the Aramco attacks. We think it very likely indeed that Iran was indeed responsible for using both UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), both drones and cruise missiles. Clearly the difficulty is, how do we organize a global response? What is the way forward? … And we will be working with our American friends and our European friends to construct a response that tries to deescalate tensions in the Gulf region. And clearly if we are asked either by the Saudis or the Americans to have a role then we would consider in what way we could be useful …

Asked if Great Britain might be part of a military action targeting Iran, Johnson replied, “We will consider in what way we could be useful if asked and depending on what the exact plan is.”

Meanwhile, retired four-star General Jack Keane appeared twice on Fox Nation’s “Mario Bartiromo’s Insiders,” asserting that the Trump administration should execute a limited military response to Iran. Last week, Keane started by noting the United States is utterly convinced Iran launched the September 14 attack, while Saudi Arabia had not committed yet to claiming it was 100% certain Iran was behind the attack.

Keane continued, “We have multiple sources of information; some of those we share with our allies; some of those we don’t because it actually identifies if we provide the intelligence it identifies the source.” He surmised the reason Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting the Saudi government is to show them the intelligence the United States has obtained. Keane also chided people who have claimed the Trump administration was only defending Saudi oil. He said. “It’s not about that; U.S. national interest is a stable world economy. That is fundamentally an interest of the United States. And the Middle East oil flow — the world economy is dependent on the evenness and the stability of that oil flow. That is what this is truly about; the Iranians got it. They want to interrupt that oil flow and destabilize the world economy, create a crisis, and put pressure on the United States to back off the Iranian sanctions. That is what this is all about.”

During his second appearance, Keane added, “The administration should do what they’re currently doing, and that is setting the conditions by going to the U.N., identifying to the international community with declassified evidence that Iranians are the culprits — they are attacking not just Saudi Arabia, they are attacking a world economy to destabilize and push it into recession and every single member of the U.N. has a stake in that and let’s put that out there so they understand what is truly at risk there and further isolate Iran, politically, diplomatically and economically; I think we can accomplish that.”

He segued, “But then, the second thing is to stop them from continuing to hurt the world economy and push it into recession. That will take some limited military response to do just that.” Keane said that it would be foolish to expect the world to back such a response, noting, “The will is just not there for that. The United States will have to lead this effort. Why? Because it is in our national interest to protect the world from a global recession and what it would do to our own economy …”

Keane theorized Iran’s threats to launch an “all-out war” against the United States if the United States launches military action were “fear-mongering.” He concluded, “I do worry, Maria, we do have policymakers that I’m very familiar with who are in the Pentagon, and they have this fear: they get paralyzed by their fear of the Iranians’ reaction, and they don’t see through the smokescreen. And here’s what they’ve done in the past and I don’t want them to do it here: They’ve set up options and exaggerate the risk so much so that they steer the decision-maker, in this case the President of the United States, to select an option that isn’t robust enough to impose cost on the Iranians and therefore stop their behavior.”