A warehouse at a Washington military base became the stage for the US to dramatically show Iran’s fingerprints all over a missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels at Riyadh’s airport on November 4.
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presented the “evidence” she promised by standing in front of the remnants of the alleged missile intercepted by Saudi defence forces.
Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran’s mission to the United Nations, immediately rejected the US claims saying the “evidence” put on public display was as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier.
He said Haley’s accusations were intended to divert attention from the devastating war in Yemen being led by Saudi Arabia, a key US ally.
During her presentation, Haley said the missile on display was an Iranian Qiam-class short-range ballistic missile. She pointed at its valves to prove her point. Iran sent the missile to Huthi militants who fired it at a civilian airport “with the potential to kill hundreds of innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia”, she said.
This is a clear case of violation of UN Security Council resolutions on weapons proliferation. It goes against the spirit of a 2015 nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany, Haley said.
She said the United States and its allies had declassified intelligence on weapons supplied by the Iranians to malign actors in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. She called on the UN Security Council to take a tougher stance toward Iran.
A report from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the council, which was obtained by AFP, says UN officials have examined debris from missiles fired at Saudi Arabia which pointed to a “common origin” but there was no firm evidence about its Iran links.
Another team of UN experts who had inspected the missile fragments during a visit to Riyadh last month suspected a possible link to an Iranian manufacturer, the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group, which is on the UN sanctions blacklist. They said they found a component marked by a logo similar to that of the banned group.
In his report, Guterres said officials had seen the logo but they were still analyzing the information.