US to present UN with ‘irrefutable evidence’ of illegal Iran arms deals
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US to present UN with ‘irrefutable evidence’ of illegal Iran arms deals

Washington says Tehran trying to cover up its weapons sales in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon in violation of ‘international obligations’

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers a speech during a United Nations Security Council meeting on December 8, 2017 in New York City (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers a speech during a United Nations Security Council meeting on December 8, 2017 in New York City (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP)

UNITED NATIONS — US Ambassador Nikki Haley will present “irrefutable evidence” that Iran has tried to cover up violations of international obligations, the US mission said Wednesday.

Haley will hold a press conference in Washington on Thursday on Iran’s “ongoing destabilizing activities in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.”

The United States and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of supplying weapons to Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who fired a missile intercepted near Riyadh airport on November 4.

“Ambassador Haley will offer irrefutable evidence that Iran has deliberately violated its international obligations and has tried and failed to cover up these violations‎,” a statement from the mission said.

Haley has called on the UN Security Council to take a tougher stance toward Iran, accusing Tehran of making illegal arms deals in Yemen, Lebanon and Syria.

Illustrative: Armed Houthi rebels ride in the back of a truck during a rally in the capital Sanaa on July 24, 2015. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

A confidential report to the council says UN officials had examined debris from missiles fired at Saudi Arabia which pointed to a “common origin” but there was no firm conclusions as to whether they came from an Iranian supplier.

The report from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which was obtained by AFP, said the officials were still analyzing the information.

A separate team of UN 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 UN sanctions blacklist.

The experts, who report to the sanctions committee, found a component marked by a logo similar to that of the banned group, which is a subsidiary of the Iranian Aerospace Industries Organization.

In his report, Guterres said officials had seen the logo but that they were still analyzing the information.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels in Yemen imposed a blockade of Yemen’s air and sea ports and borders after the missile was fired at Riyadh, citing concerns that weapons were being smuggled into Yemen.

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