UN says reports do not indicate missiles’ origin

Zarif likens Haley’s 'alternative evidence' to that presented by Powell in 2003

December 15, 2017

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday said Washington is using “alternative facts” to cover up its complicity in war crimes in Yemen.

The statement by Zarif came as U.S. Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley on Thursday presented the debris of a missile at a military base in Washington in which she claimed it was made by Iran and used on November 4 by Yemen’s Houthi group to target an airport near Riyadh.

“While #Iran has been calling for ceasefire, aid and dialogue in #Yemen from day 1, U.S. has sold weapons enabling its allies to kill civilians and impose famine. No amount of alternative facts or alternative evidence covers up U.S. complicity in war crimes,” Zarif wrote in a tweet.

In an earlier tweet on Thursday, the chief diplomat also compared Haley’s allegations against Iran to those of former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell who alleged in 2003 that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction in order to make a case for attacking the country.

“When I was based at the UN, I saw this show and what it begat...,” tweeted Zarif.

Nikki Nimrata Haley, of Indian descent, is a Sikh-Christian convert and wife to Michael Haley of the South Carolina Army National Guard who has served in Afghanistan.

On the same day as Haley made his accusations, Farhan Haq, the spokesman for the UN secretary general, said the existing reports do not show what country the missiles were manufactured.

“There's no conclusive evidence about the provenance of those missiles,” the UN spokesman told a press briefing.

U.S. evidence on Yemen missiles is 'fabricated'

Also on Thursday Iran dismissed evidence presented by Haley as "fabricated," saying the accusations were baseless. 

"This purportedly evidence, put on public display today, is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier," said Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran's mission to the United Nations.
Iran "categorically" rejects the accusation "as unfounded and, at the same time, irresponsible, provocative and destructive," Miryousefi said in a statement.

"The U.S. government has an agenda and is constantly at work to deceive the public into believing the cases they put together to advance it," he added.

The Iranian mission said the accusations leveled by Haley were intended to divert attention from the devastating war in Yemen being led by Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally.

"These hyperboles" serve the U.S. agenda in the Middle East including the administration's "unbridled support for the Israeli regime," said the spokesman.

Also, Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo, issued a statement on Thursday calling claims by Haley “irresponsible” and “provocative”.
 
This is the text of the statement posted on the Mehr news website:

“Following a series of baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the past 10 months, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN once again today took the same line accusing the Iranian government of supplying the missile that hit Saudi Arabia on 4 November - an accusation that we categorically reject as unfounded and, at the same time, irresponsible, provocative and destructive. 

“This purportedly evidence, put on public display today, is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier,” Khoshroo said.

“The U.S. government has an agenda and is constantly at work to deceive the public into believing the cases they put together to advance it. As part of this agenda, the U.S. president raised the same missile-attack accusation against Iran just hours after the missile launch even before Saudi Arabia did so. Likewise, the U.S. ambassador to the UN last month called for international action against Iran over this missile launch.

“While Iran has not supplied Yemen with missiles, these hyperboles are also to serve other U.S. agendas in the Middle East, including covering up for its adventurist acts in the region and its unbridled support for the Israeli regime. It is not a coincidence that the U.S. ambassador held her today’s press conference two days after her claim in her interview with CNN, claiming that the common fight against Iran is much more important for the American regional allies than the plights of the Palestinians and the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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 that has so far killed more than 10,000 civilians, displaced three million, crippled Yemen's infrastructure and health system and pushed the country to the brink of largest famine the world has seen for decades, as the UN has warned.

While stressing the Yemenis’ right to self-defense, we reiterate that the crisis has no military solution. We take this opportunity to recall the peace plan that Iran formally presented to the UN Secretary-General in 2015 for peacefully settling the conflict and its readiness to contribute towards this goal.”

SP/PA
 

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