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Iran Reacts Angrily To UN Report On Origin Of Arms Used In Saudi Attacks

Saudi defense ministry spokesman Colonel Turki bin Saleh al-Malki displays pieces of what he said were Iranian cruise missiles and drones recovered from the attack site that targeted Saudi Aramco's facilities. FILE PHOTO
Saudi defense ministry spokesman Colonel Turki bin Saleh al-Malki displays pieces of what he said were Iranian cruise missiles and drones recovered from the attack site that targeted Saudi Aramco's facilities. FILE PHOTO

Tehran has dismissed a United Nations report presented by the secretary general about the Iranian origin of missiles used in strikes against Saudi Aramco oil processing plants in May 2019.

A Reuters report said on June 12 that that the agency has access to a report by UN Chief Antonio Guterres that stresses the missiles used in the strike on the crude processing plant in Afif in eastern Saudi Arabia last year had "Iranian origin."

This was part of a routine report the UN secretary general presents to the Security Council once in every six months about the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The report lends support to U.S. allegations about Tehran being behind the attacks that temporarily halved Saudi Arabia's oil output at the time and affected the international oil markets.

Tehran’s reaction could have been expected as the UN report weakens the diplomatic position of the Islamic Republic and its allies, Russia and China to oppose the U.S. demand of prolonging a UN arms embargo against Iran.

By dismissing a report endorsed by the secretary general and calling the UN inept in analyzing weapons, Iran could be further isolating itself.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in a tweet that "Iran rejects allegations in a UN Secretariat report," and stressed that "the Iranian origin of arms is a fallacy." Taklht Ravanchi charged that "UN Secretariat lacks capacity, expertise and knowledge to conduct investigations," and concluded that it "Seems the US—with its history of Iran-bashing—sits in the driver's seat to shape UN assessments".

Meanwhile a press release issued by the Iranian delegation at the United Nations claimed that "some of the alleged seized arms which have been examined were found not to conform to the ones manufactured by Iran."

The statement added: "The report has based its findings on the alleged seizure of arms by the United States, as well as the attacks on Saudi Arabia , reproducing the exact claims made by the United States."

The Iranian delegation's statement also charged that: In an extremely unprofessional conduct, only some images such as media pictures of military exhibitions have been used to verify and conclude about the alleged similarities of some items," adding that the methodology seriously undermined the credibility of the report.

"In the absence of solid and reliable technical information…, one cannot but consider the allegation against Iran as politically motivated," said the statement by the Islamic Republic of Iran's UN mission.

This comes while the report by Reuters says cruise missiles or parts thereof as well as some of the parts used in the drones that deployed in the strikes bear marks in Persian and are similar to products manufactured by an Iranian commercial firm.

Meanwhile, an AP report on February 1 quoted UN experts as saying that the technical specifications of some of the weapons and drone parts used by the Yemeni Houthis are similar to Iranian-made products.

In another development, the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran also reacted angrily to the UN Chief's report and accused the UN chief of "Levelling accusations against other states using self-created processes and arbitrary procedures is a dangerous heresy," adding that such accusations are "unacceptable."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry also said that such accusations "will cause severe damage to the credibility and undermine the integrity of the United Nations," and warned the "UN Secretariat not move in the pre-planned US scenario to prevent the lifting of Iran's arms restrictions and not assist a violating State in this dangerous process by circulating such unlawful reports. The United States itself is the gravest violator of Security Council Resolution 2231, and no one can clear the name of that State from systematic violations of international rules."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry was referring to the United States withdrawal from the JCPOA and its declared position against putting an end to the arms embargo against Iran in October as part of the nuclear deal.

The United States representative for Iran, Brian Hook said last week that Iran is on the frontline of funding terrorism and ending the arms embargo against Tehran will give it another opportunity to destabilize the region.

The United States has prepared a draft resolution and handed it to Russia and Western countries. China and Russia are against renewing the arms embargo and say the United States has pulled out of the JCOA, so it cannot have a say on matters relating to the agreement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, says the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 are two different matters, stressing that the resolution still recognizes the United States as a "participating" state.