The Iranian government issued a statement Thursday denying that a presentation earlier in the day by the U.S. represented proof that they’d been sending arms to the Shia Houthis in Yemen in a bid to resist the U.S.-backed Saudi invasion, saying it was a ‘fabrication.”
“These accusations seek also to cover up for the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, with the U.S. complicity, and divert international and regional attention from the stalemate war of aggression against the Yemenis,” the statement said.
The U.S. presentation centered on a short-range ballistic missile fired by Yemen at a Saudi airport in Riyadh, which U.S. officials claim was Iranian-made and Iranian-supplied. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley used the occasion to talk up building a new coalition against Iran.
The presentation didn’t come with any specific evidence that the missile was of Iranian-origin, and indeed Yemen has insisted since the firing, it was a missile of their own design. The Saudis initially blamed Iran, and the U.S. presented Iran’s guilt as self-evident.
While #Iran has been calling for ceasefire, aid and dialogue in #Yemen from day 1, US has sold weapons enabling its allies to kill civilians and impose famine. No amount of alternative facts or alternative evidence covers up US complicity in war crimes. (https://t.co/VALDSWgMUv) pic.twitter.com/7fkbIJs9MA
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 15, 2017
Even with evidence, it’s not clear how damning such an arms shipment would be considering the countless bombs dropped on Yemen over the past two and a half years, the vast majority of which were U.S. arms provided to the Saudi government. Though it’s not at all clear Iran has anywhere near that sort of relationship with the Houthis, a single missile hardly seems earth-shattering.
Iran’s Foreign Minister likened Haley’s presentation to Colin Powell’s 2003 WMD speech about Iraq, which precipitated the disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Top photo | U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley speaks in front recovered segments of a rocket the U.S. and Saudi Arabia allege came from Iran during a press briefing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Dec. 14, 2017, in Washington. (AP/Cliff Owen)