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France cautious over U.S. 'evidence' on Iran weaponry in Yemen

17 December 2017, 02:09 | Myrtle Vega

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Four ballistic missiles were fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen's Houthi militias this year.

"This is a diplomatically-led effort to expose to the world what Iran is up to".

She said the missile "might as well have had "Made in Iran" stickers" on it, adding that Iran was violating United Nations resolutions. "The evidence is undeniable". She said the missile parts bear markings showing they originate in Iran and that they have technical specifications that are specific to Iranian-manufactured weapons. The Trump administration reportedly has considered increasing the military assistance to Saudi Arabia, including possible resumption of shipments of guided missiles that the Obama administration had suspended because of the indiscriminate Saudi targeting of civilians.

It was also "a hell of a day" for the U.S.to accuse Iran of arming Houthi rebels, some commentators observed, given new reports that American arms sent to Syrian opposition groups "frequently ended up in the hands" of ISIS fighters.

Ms Haley said: "It's hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran's fingerprints all over it". "From there it was sacked at a civilian airport with the potential to kill hundreds of innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia".

Iran is "fanning the flames" of conflict, Haley said. On Wednedsday, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the world body was investigating Iran's possible transfer of ballistic missiles that may have been used in launches aimed at Saudi Arabia on July 22 and November 4.

Haley's conference comes after President Donald Trump decertified the Iran deal on October 13, leaving it in place practically but testifying that it was not in the US's national security interests to continue the deal.

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"Following a series of baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the past 10 months, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations once again today took the same line accusing the Iranian government of supplying the missile that hit Saudi Arabia on November 4th - an accusation that we categorically reject as unfounded and, at the same time, irresponsible, provocative and destructive", Iran said.

A photograph paired with the article "USOC: Olympics still a go" (Dec. 8) contained this caption: "Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said it's an "open question" whether the U.S. will send its team to North Korea".

The war took another chaotic turn this month with the breakdown of the wartime alliance between the Houthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former president who retained significant influence in the country.

"We do not know when they were transported exactly", said Defense Department spokeswoman Laura Seal. Parts of a suicide boat identical to the one used in an attack on a Saudi frigate included electronics with the stamp of an Iranian company and a camera with a memory card that had photos taken at the factory - with an IRGC hat in the background. With US support, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis on behalf of Yemen's internationally recognized government.

But the report, while citing military materiel presented by Saudi Arabia, stops short of fully embracing Haley's conclusions, saying that the U.N. Secretariat is "still analyzing the information collected". Gesturing to the missiles, she said, "These are the things they're doing while we're all looking the other way".

The newly declassified evidence marked the most aggressive USA effort to date to substantiate its claim that Iran funnels weapons to the Houthis, an allegation widely accepted by most countries but that Tehran steadfastly denies.



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