Russia on Wednesday dismissed evidence presented by the United States and U.N. experts that Iran had supplied missiles to Yemen’s Houthi fighters as inconclusive, signaling it would oppose a bid to slap sanctions on Tehran.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Russia says evidence presented by the United States alleging that Iran had supplied missiles to Yemen's Houthi fighters is not conclusive, stressing there is no case for any UN action against Tehran.
After traveling to Washington to view pieces of weapons that Washington claims Tehran gave to Houthi fighters, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Wednesday that "Iran is vehemently denying it is supplying anything to Yemen."
“We only heard some vague talk about some action,” Nebenzia said. “If there is something (proposed), we will see. How can we pass judgment prematurely before we know what it is about?”
The Russian envoy said Yemen hosted a pile of weapons from the old days, “so I cannot give you anything conclusive."
Asked whether there was a case against Iran at the UN, Nebenzia answered: “No.”
Nebenzia along with other UN Security Council ambassadors paid a visit to Washington this week to inspect debris purportedly from a Yemeni missile that reached deep inside Saudi territory last year, with the US claiming that it was supplied by Iran.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley last month presented the remnants of an alleged Iranian-made ballistic missile fired from Yemen in November at King Khalid International Airport near the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Haley said remnants of the missile proved that Iran was violating international law by giving missiles to the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The Houthis have been fighting back a Saudi-led aggression with allied Yemeni army troops and tribal fighters.
Iran’s UN mission has rejected the US claim as “unfounded,” saying the accusation seeks 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.”
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami has also dismissed the US claim as a “ridiculous charade,” while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said the allegation is aimed at covering up Washington’s “highly dangerous moves” in the region.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has for months been lobbying for Iran to be held accountable at the UN, saying Washington will seek action at the Security Council against Iran.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to crush the Houthi movement and reinstate the former Riyadh-friendly regime, but they have achieved neither of their goals.
The Saudi-led war, which has been accompanied by a naval and aerial blockade on Yemen, has so far killed over 13,600 people and led to a humanitarian crisis as well as a deadly cholera outbreak.
The US has been one of the main suppliers of arms to the US-led coalition pounding Yemen.
Washington has also reportedly provided training and intelligence sharing to the Saudi-led coalition.