Iran’s officials have continued their heated rejection of US claims that Tehran is providing military support to the Ansar Allah (Houthi) insurgents in Yemen’s civil war.
On Thursday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley hosted a display of missile debris which Washington claims were from an Iranian-supplied Houthi missile fired at Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh International Airport. The US military also showed a drone and anti-tank missile which were purportedly from the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (pictured), who proclaimed on Twitter that US “hypocrisy knows no bounds”, told reporters on Saturday, “In an attempt to cover up its presence in the region and measures which can mostly amount to war crimes, the US levels baseless allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran by displaying a piece of metal.”
He asserted that the claims hoped to deflect attention from US complicity in “crimes” in the Middle East, particularly in Yemen, and Donald Trump’s “very dangerous move” to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Zarif said Iran will file a complaint with the UN.
Yemen’s deadly civil war, which erupted in early 2015 when the Houthis took the capital Sana’a and much of the country, has been an arena for the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis responded to the Houthi displacement of the recognized Government by leading an air, ground, and sea intervention and blockade. Thousands of civilians have been killed, and millions are at risk of famine.
Tehran has provided political support for the Houthis but maintains that it is not providing any weaponry or other military assistance.
Iran’s deputy chief of armed forces, Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri insisted on Saturday that Houthi missiles fired on Saudi Arabia are “homemade”: “If the Americans had been aware of the high level of Yemeni resistance’s missile technology prowess, they would have prevented the utterance of such ridiculous remarks.”
Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, Gholam Ali Khoshroo, said Haley’s “show” was to cover up the US supply of lethal weapons to the Saudi regime. He added, “Iran wants peace, dialogue and an immediate ceasefire and a halt to bombardments.”