UAE, Saudi welcome United Nations report on Iran

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley gestures as she speaks in front recovered segments of an Iranian rocket during a press briefing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Thursday Dec. 14 2017 in Washington. Haley says

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said there is "undeniable" evidence that Iran has been giving missiles to the terrorist Houthi rebels in Yemen, and she on Thursday stood in a hangar at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington and revealed hard evidence - missile parts that might as well have "Made in Iran" stamped on them.

To prove the case that Iran-made missiles have been fired from Yemen, the USA pieced together a full-length Qiam-1, a short-range ballistic missile, constructed from the debris of two separate missile attacks against Saudi Arabia this year.

France reacted cautiously on Friday to US evidence which allegedly proved Iran supplied weapons to Houthi militia in Yemen, saying it was still studying information at its disposal and the United Nations had yet to draw any conclusions.

On the same day as Haley made his accusations, Farhan Haq, the spokesman for the United Nations secretary general, said the existing reports do not show what country the missiles were manufactured.

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

She showed reporters the remnants of a ballistic missile that came close to hitting Riyadh's airport last month.

"Today, one of the things that we're doing with all this information is the first step of implementing President Trump's Iran strategy, which is to expose this behavior, to be clear about it, to show it to the world and be clear eyed so we can go forward together as a community, the USA and our partners in the United National in addressing the totality of the Iranian threat", said Laura Seal, a Pentagon spokesperson.

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Haley has called on the UN Security Council to take a tougher stance toward what she contends are Iran's illegal arms deals with allies in Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria.

Iran "categorically" rejects the accusation "as unfounded and, at the same time, irresponsible, provocative and destructive", he said in a statement.

"You will see us build a coalition to really push back against Iran and what they're doing", she said. The statement went on: "The U.S. government has an agenda and is constantly at work to deceive the public into believing the cases they put together to advance it".

During the presentation, Haley unveiled pieces of two Iranian Qiam missiles launched from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, one which targeted the Saudi oil facility Aramco in Yanbu and the other aimed at King Khalid International Airport.

"We present this evidence so that we, our allies and global partners - including organisations like the [United Nations] - can be clear eyed about Iran's activities as we work together", Seal said.

AFP reported that 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.

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.


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