WASHINGTON, DC – Iran has claimed that United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley “fabricated” her announcement that the charred remains of a short-range ballistic missile discovered in Yemen originated in Iran.
In a statement released on Thursday, Iran’s mission to the U.N. reportedly denounced the allegations as “irresponsible, provocative and destructive,” saying “this purported evidence … is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier,” according to Iran’s state-run Press TV:
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 that has so far killed more than 10,000 civilians, displaced three million, crippled Yemen’s infrastructure and health system and pushed the country to the brink of the largest famine the world has seen for decades, as the UN has warned.
During her press conference at Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling in Washington, DC, on Thursday, Haley said a marker on one of the fragments bore the distinct signature of Iranian manufacture Shahid Bagger Industries. The missile also lacked wings along its body, another typical mark of Iranian missiles.
“In this warehouse is concrete evidence of illegal Iranian weapons proliferation, gathered from direct military attacks on partners in the region,” Haley said. The missile purports to prove that the Iranian government is violating international law by providing weapons to its Houthi militant rebels in Yemen.
That ballistic missile was fired by Houthi militants from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. “The missile’s intended target was a civilian airport in Riyadh, through which tens of thousands of passengers travel each day,” Haley said, adding that the declassification of military equipment recovered from these types of attacks is very rare. “Just imagine if this missile had been launched at Dulles Airport or JFK or the airports in Paris, London, or Berlin,” she added. “The fight against Iranian aggression is the world’s fight.”
The New York Times also appeared to make a case in support of Iran, writing, “But the evidence she showcased at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling — four weapons provided to the American government by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — fell short of proving her claims”:
.@USUN Ambassador Haley: #Iran is determined to undermine the international consensus against its conduct. We must speak with one voice in exposing the regime for what it is — a threat to the peace and security of the entire world. pic.twitter.com/a2twBtzYVI
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 14, 2017
Haley also noted:
The nuclear deal has done nothing to moderate the regime’s conduct in other areas. Aide from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to dangerous militant groups is increasing. Their weapons are trying up in war zones throughout the region. It’s hard to find … that doesn’t have Iran’s fingerprints on it.
She said the detailed report from the United Nations Resolution 2231, which places specific prohibitions on Iranian conduct, used “the strongest language yet” and listed rampant “violation after violation of weapons transfers and ballistic missile activity” by Iran. “The United States welcomes this report, as should every nation concerned about Iranian expansion.”
Haley stated, “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,” and, again, she stressed that “the fight against Iranian aggression is the world’s fight.”