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UN Determines That Iran Made Missiles Fired At Saudis From Yemen


SAUDI ARABIA -- Saudi soldiers reveal the remains of missiles, that a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia claim are Iranian during a press conference at the Armed Forces club in Riyadh, March 26, 2018

By RFE/RL

The United Nations has determined that debris from five ballistic missiles launched from Yemen into Saudi Arabia since July contained components manufactured in Iran and shared key design features with an Iranian missile, a new report says.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the report to the UN Security Council, which was seen by media on June 14, that while the missile parts are Iranian, the United Nations has been unable to determine whether they were transferred from Iran after UN restrictions went into force in January 2016.

Guterres said the UN is also "confident" that some arms seized by Bahrain and recovered by the United Arab Emirates from an unmanned vessel laden with explosives were manufactured in Iran.

But he said, once again, investigators could not determine whether the arms were transferred from Iran after UN restrictions took effect.

The secretary-general was reporting on implementation of a 2015 Security Council resolution that endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. The resolution includes restrictions on transfers to or from Iran of nuclear and ballistic missile material as well as other arms.

The latest UN findings are less conclusive that those of a separate UN panel of experts that reported in January that Iran was in violation of the arms embargo on Yemen for failing to block supplies of its missiles to allied Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Ranges Of Known Iran's missiles
Ranges Of Known Iran's missiles

The inconclusiveness of the report could deal a setback to the United States, which has repeatedly called on the UN Security Council to take action against Iran over illegal arms transfers to Yemen and elsewhere in the region.

Iran has strongly denied arming the Huthis.

In other key findings, Guterres said the UN is looking into reports from two unnamed countries that Iran received "dual-use items, materials, equipment, goods, and technology" in violation of UN restrictions.

Guterres also said the UN hasn't had an opportunity to examine a drone that Israel intercepted and downed after it entered its airspace. Israel said it was Iranian.

The secretary-general noted that Iranian media had reported that "various Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles" have been deployed in Syria.

Guterres reported that on May 21, the Hamas leader in Gaza said on TV that Iran provided the Al-Qassam Brigades with "money, (military) equipment and expertise." Guterres said any such arms transfers might violate UN restrictions.

He also reported receiving a letter dated May 15 from Ukraine's UN ambassador indicating that its security service "prevented an attempt by two Iranian nationals to procure and transfer" to Iran components of a Kh-31 air-to-surface missile and related technical documents.


With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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