TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected on Saturday the United States’ accusations that Iran had provided Houthi rebels in Yemen with missiles that were fired at Saudi Arabia.
Zarif dismissed the remarks made by the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who said the evidence proved that Tehran had supplied the missiles.
“There is no doubt that Ms. Haley had no evidence to support her claims,” the state-run IRNA news agency cited Zarif as saying.
“The US claims are aimed at covering up its presence in the region and actions that can be mainly regarded as war crimes,” Zarif asserted.
Haley had displayed parts of a missile that was fired at Saudi Arabia last month, claiming that it was Iranian-made, at a press conference Dec. 14.
The Iranian foreign minister also said the US accuses Iran of providing the Houthis with missiles, while offering Riyadh “cluster bombs that have killed children and elderly people in Yemen.”
Also Saturday, Iran’s Armed Forces spokesman General Masoud Jazayeri derided the presentation, saying “Her (Haley’s) allegations have roots in her lack of knowledge in military and weapons.”
“If the Americans were well aware of Yemeni high-tech in missiles technology, they would never have uttered such ridiculous allegations,” he added.
On the day of Haley’s speech, Foreign Minister Zarif had posted an image on Twitter showing Haley’s presentation juxtaposed with one from 2003 of Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state, as he made the case at the UN that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In reference to the false claims used to launch the war in Iraq, Zarif warned: “When I was based at the UN, I saw this show and what it begat.”
Saudi Arabia has been involved in a war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015, and both the US and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of providing support to the Houthis.
On Nov. 4, Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile from Yemen at the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which Saudi officials said was intercepted near the city’s airport.
Two days later, Saudi Arabia asserted that the missile had come from Iran, saying this act could constitute an act of war.