Haley: Iran's Fingerprints 'All Over' Conflicts, Terrorist Groups in the Middle East

Haley: Iran's Fingerprints 'All Over' Conflicts, Terrorist Groups in the Middle East

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration tried to mount a case Thursday that Iran violated an global agreement to limit its arms dealing, but US officials failed to show how an array of weaponry presented as evidence proved the charges. Behind her was a missile that provides "indisputable" proof, she said, that Iran is supplying Houthi rebels with weapons.

"This is a diplomatically-led effort to expose to the world what Iran is up to".

Reza Marashi, research director for the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), pointed out that the United Nations report Haley cited as "devastating" proof against Iran has not even been completed, and thus can not possibly amount to "irrefutable" evidence.

Iran immediately dismissed the evidence as "fabricated", saying the accusations were baseless. "The weapons might as well have had "Made in Iran" stickers all over it", Haley said.

Iran has denied any role in the missile attack on the airport, and says it isn't supplying weapons to the Houthis. The Trump administration reportedly has considered increasing the military assistance to Saudi Arabia, including possible resumption of shipments of guided missiles that the Obama administration had suspended because of the indiscriminate Saudi targeting of civilians.

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.

Haley will discuss what the mission called Iran's "ongoing destabilizing activities in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world". Evidently a factory marking on a munition is supposed to constitute a case for condemnation of the country of manufacture when Iran is involved, but not when another state is, or at least when the United States or Saudi Arabia is. But Haley said the USA would be working with other countries on "next steps".

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The United States and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of arming Houthi rebels in Yemen, including missiles the fired at Saudi Arabia in July and November. "We're also taking a hard look at Iran's ballistic missile program, its arms exports, its support for terrorists, proxy fighters and dictators".

The Iranian top diplomat likened Halley's presentation Thursday to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell's claim in 2003 that Iraq possessed WMD.

And Iran's behavior is growing worse, she said.

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, will present "irrefutable evidence" that Iran has violated the Iran deal, according to her office. Spencer Ackerman, national security reporter for the Daily Beast, wrote: "Wonder when Iran holds its press conference to highlight all the American and British munitions the Saudis have used on hospitals, the Sanaa airport, etc". Saudi officials have called that attack an "act of war" by Iran.

Mark Dubowitz, an Iranian expert and the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told CBS News, "The practical reality is that the Trump administration is signaling that they will treat the Houthis as an extension of Iran and Hezbollah and use all instruments of American power to punish Iran for proliferating its Hezbollah surrogates around the region to threaten USA allies".

The newly declassified evidence marked the most aggressive United States effort to date to substantiate its claim that Iran funnels weapons to the Houthis, an allegation widely accepted by most countries but that Tehran steadfastly denies.

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

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