Zarif: No Alternative Evidence Covers up US Complicity in War Crimes

17 December, 2017, 02:11 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Zarif: No Alternative Evidence Covers up US Complicity in War Crimes

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday he does not see the need for a stepped-up military posture against Iran, the day after a top diplomat said evidence shows Tehran is supporting Huthi rebels in Yemen.

The U.S. took the unusual step of declassifying military equipment that was gathered in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where a civil war is taking place between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the elected government.

It "might as well have had "Made in Iran" stickers" on it, she said, adding that Iran was violating United Nations resolutions.

Iran immediately dismissed the evidence as "fabricated", saying the accusations were baseless.

"This evidence is part of what has led the US intelligence community to conclude unequivocally that these weapons were supplied by the Iranian regime", Haley said.

Pointing at part of the missile behind her, she added: "They are allowing missiles like this to be fired over to innocent civilians".

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The missile was reportedly launched at Saudi Arabia last month from an area of Yemen that is controlled by Houthi rebels, an Iranian-backed Shiite group that took control of large swathes of Yemen in 2014.

"Today's revelations proved yet again that Iran's unsafe presence in the Middle East is only growing despite their attempts to deceive the world", Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement.

Charts and photographs were on display next to the missile parts, which were provided by Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will present what she says is "irrefutable evidence" that Iran has violated its worldwide obligations at a press conference on December 14, the U.S. mission at the UN said.

Haley said the missiles were Iranian Qiam-class short-range ballistic rockets and pointed to valves that she said proved their origin.

The US mission to the United Nations said its ambassador, Nikki Haley, would hold a news conference on Thursday in Washington to highlight its findings, as well as Iran's "destabilising activities in the Middle East region and elsewhere in the world".

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The Trump administration accused Iran on Thursday of violating United Nations resolutions, unveiling what USA officials said was proof that Iran is exporting missiles and other military hardware to a rebel group in Yemen.

"There are more than half a dozen pieces of evidence demonstrating that these components are directly traceable to Iran", she said.

Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sana'a on December 2, 2017, during clashes between supporters of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis.

The Saudi-led intervention began in March 2015, while former U.S. President Barack Obama was in power. This is an evident act of war that could have tragically killed and wounded hundreds of people.The aforementioned statements and reports give further global legitimacy to Saudi Arabia, showing that its accusations against Tehran were based on evidence and objective investigation. Gesturing to the missiles, she said, "These are the things they're doing while we're all looking the other way".

"We do not know when they were transported exactly", said Defense Department spokeswoman Laura Seal.

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

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In an earlier tweet on Thursday, the chief diplomat also compared Haley's allegations against Iran to those of former USA secretary of state Colin Powell who alleged in 2003 that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction in order to make a case for attacking the country.

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