Iran says US evidence on Yemen missiles is 'fabricated'

16 December, 2017, 18:57 | Author: Diane Mills
  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley briefs the media in front of remains of Iranian

"All are proof that Iran is defying the global community".

The missiles were fired at the main airport in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Haley said.

"This evidence demonstrates a pattern of behaviour in which Iran sows conflict and extremism", Ms Haley said, flanked by an array of mangled missile parts, a broken-up drone and other weaponry recovered by Persian Gulf allies of the United States.

"It was made in Iran then sent to Houthi militants in Yemen", Haley said.

Under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, coalition airstrikes in Yemen have killed thousands of civilians, according to the United Nations, with no end to the military operations in sight.

Haley displayed the missile and its resemblance to the Iranian Qiam 1 missile as "indisputable" evidence that Iran was in violation of U.N. Security Council 2231, which prohibited Iran from exporting missiles and was adopted in support of the 2015 nuclear deal that Trump has since decertified. The US will now rally other nations to push back on Iran's behavior, she added.

But Israel praised Haley's event, characterizing the findings as proof of Iran's regional aggression.

Iran's Foreign Minister likened Haley's presentation to Colin Powell's 2003 WMD speech about Iraq, which precipitated the disastrous USA invasion and occupation of Iraq.

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The Iranian government issued a statement Thursday disputing Haley's claims. "The US government has an agenda and is constantly at work to deceive the public into believing the cases they put together to advance it".

"The Iranian government issued a statement Thursday denying that a presentation earlier in the day by the US represented proof that they'd been sending arms to the Shia Houthis in Yemen in a bid to resist the USA -backed Saudi invasion, saying it was a 'fabrication".

"These hyperboles" serve the United States agenda in the Middle East including the administration's "unbridled support for the Israeli regime", Miryousefi added.

Haley's news conference was in line with President Donald Trump's new strategy announced in October "to address the totality of Iranian threats and malign activities" from ballistic missile development to "support to terrorism and unconventional warfare", Seal said. The UN has revealed in a report that these missiles appear to have been designed by Iran.

Recent Iranian missile launches have triggered USA sanctions and accusations they violate the spirit of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.

She said this particular missile had been manufactured in Iran, delivered to Yemen, and later fired at a commercial airport in Saudi Arabia.

A report by UN Secretary General António Guterres concludes that debris from the missile fired at Riyadh, and another shot down near Mecca in July, points to a common origin, according to AFP news agency.

A separate team of United Nations experts who inspected the missile fragments during a visit to Riyadh last month found a possible link to an Iranian manufacturer, the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group, which is on the United Nations sanctions blacklist.

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