The United States on Thursday displayed incontrovertible proof Iran has violated multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions against weapons proliferation in the form of missiles and explosives recovered from Middle Eastern battlefields by America’s allies.
The Department of Defense describes the evidence presented at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in D.C. in detail:
The four systems are a short-range ballistic missile, an antitank guided missile, an unmanned aerial vehicle and exploding boat technology. “All four include parts made by [the] Iranian government-run defense industry, and all could have only come from Iran,” [DoD spokeswoman Laura] Seal said.
There are pieces of two Iranian Qiam missiles launched from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. One targeted the Yanbu oil facility, and the other was aimed at King Khalid International Airport. “Only Iran makes the Qiam,” Seal said.
Another piece of equipment is an Iranian-made antitank guided missile called a Toophan. “This one was obtained by Saudi Arabia on the battlefield,” Seal said. The missile is a high-precision, direct-fire weapon with a range of about 2.4 miles. The Houthis in Yemen use them to target infrastructure and vehicles, officials said, noting that the Houthis do not have the technology to manufacture these weapons.
The display also showcases a Qasef-1 unmanned aerial vehicle operated by Houthi forces, which was recovered by Saudi Arabia. “The Qasef-1 can be used as a one-way attack drone — diving on targets Kamikaze-style and detonating its warhead upon impact,” Seal said. “Only Iran makes the Qasef-1. It is a member of the Ababil UAV family, designed and produced by the Iranian government.”
Finally, the display features the guidance system from an Iranian Shark-33 boat. This is an explosive-laden, unmanned boat used in an attack the Saudi Arabian frigate HMS al Madinah. That attack killed two and injured three and left a 5-by-6.5-foot hole in the ship’s hull, Seal said.
“In October, President Trump announced a new strategy to address the totality of Iranian threats and malign activities: nuclear; ballistic missile development and proliferation; counter-maritime operations; cyber; and support to terrorism and unconventional warfare. Part of the president’s strategy is to clearly show how Iran continues to defy the international community by violating United Nations resolutions,” said the Defense Department spokeswoman.
She added that it was important to present hard evidence so that national governments and international organizations “can be clear-eyed about Iran’s activities as we work together.”
DoD presented the recovered weapon as clear proof Iran has violated U.N. Security Council resolutions 2216 and 2231. Seal pointed out that the onboard camera on the Shark 33 explosive boat, which is basically a remote-controlled torpedo, still contains images that show it was stored “inside what is probably an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps facility in Eastern Tehran.”
“It is clear Iran is arming dangerous militia and terror groups with advanced weaponry to sow instability and violence. But we are not on a road to war with Iran – just the opposite. The U.S. wants Iran to act as a responsible nation and enhance security and stability in a region that has suffered from Tehran’s efforts to undermine international order by instigating violence and political chaos,” said Seal.
“The nuclear deal has done nothing to moderate the regime’s conduct in other areas. Aid from Iran’s revolutionary guard to dangerous militias and terror groups is increasing. Its ballistic missile and advanced weapons are turning up in war zones across the region. 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,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a press conference on Thursday.
“We do not often declassify this type of military equipment recovered from these attacks,” Haley pointed out. “But today, we are taking an extraordinary step of presenting it here in an open setting. We did this for a single, urgent purpose: because the Iranian regime cannot be allowed to engage in its lawless behavior any longer.”
“International peace and security depends on us working together against the Iranian regime’s hostile actions,” she declared. “The fight against Iranian aggression is the world’s fight.”
Haley noted that she was speaking before debris recovered from an Iranian missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels at a civilian target: the international airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “through which tens of thousands of passengers travel each day.”
Haley referred to a new United Nations report that portrays Iran as a regional “arsonist.”
“The report shows the Tehran regime not putting out fires, but fanning the flames of conflict in the region,” she said, noting it is the fourth U.N. report addressing Iranian compliance with U.N. resolutions against weapons proliferation.
“All of these weapons include parts made in Iran, some by Iran’s government-run defense industry. All are proof that Iran is defying the international community. And not just one time. This evidence demonstrates a pattern of behavior in which Iran sows conflict and extremism in direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” she charged.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the U.N. report that asserted that the hostile Iranian intervention and its support for the terrorist Houthi militia with advanced and dangerous missile capabilities threatens the security and stability of the kingdom and the region,” the Saudi state press agency said on Thursday.
The Saudis thanked Ambassador Haley for articulating a strong U.S. position against Iranian weapons proliferation and presenting hard evidence to back up the charges against Tehran.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia demands the international community to take immediate measures to implement the aforementioned Security Council resolutions and to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its hostile actions,” the Saudi press agency said.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations fired back on Thursday, describing the American allegations as “irresponsible, provocative, and destructive.”
“These accusations seek also to cover up for the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, with the US complicity, and divert international and regional attention from the stalemate war of aggression against the Yemenis,” said Iran.