TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry denied on Wednesday accusations of supplying weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
The ministry announced that a protest before the United Nations had been filed in response to the United States and Saudi Arabia’s accusations that Iran was arming the Houthis.
Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that it was impossible to transfer weapons to Yemen because of the blockade imposed there by the Saudi-led military coalition, which targets the Houthi rebels, the semi-official news agency ISNA cited him as saying.
According to Qasemi, any weapons in the Houthis’ possession belonged to previous governments.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the state-run news agency IRNA that Iran had filed a protest on Tuesday before the United Nations Security Council against the United States’ accusations.
Earlier Tuesday, Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthis toward the kingdom’s capital of Riyadh.
Afterwards, the United States confirmed before the UN that the missile was Iranian made, and called for taking punitive measures.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, insisted that Iran supplied the Houthis with weapons.
On Thursday, Haley had exhibited parts of a missile that Houthi rebels launched at Riyadh, claiming it had been made in Iran.
Two other missiles had previously been fired from Yemen at countries in the Arab military coalition, the first on Nov. 4 toward Riyadh and the second toward the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 3.
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a coalition in support of the internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
The Saudi-led bombing campaign has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a humanitarian catastrophe.