UN experts: Iran weapons to Yemen rebels violated embargo


UNITED NATIONS — UN experts say Iran violated a UN arms embargo by directly or indirectly providing missiles and drones to Shiite rebels in Yemen in a report.

UN experts traveled to Saudi Arabia in November and December and examined remnants of missiles fired by the Houthis in those months as well as in May and July.

The report said: "The panel has identified missile remnants related to military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo" in 2015.

The UN experts found that design features of the missile debris were "consistent with those of the Iranian-designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile" and "almost certainly produced by the same manufacturer."

The drones were "virtually identical in design" to that of an Iranian-made UAV manufactured by the Iranian Aircraft Manufacturing Industries (Hesa), said the report.

Iran "failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer" to the Huthis of the missiles, storage tanks for propellant and drones, it concluded.

Referring to the Security Council resolution that imposed the embargo, it said: "As a result, the panel finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 in that it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of missile and unmanned aerial vehicles to the Houthi-Saleh alliance."

Iran backs the Houthis but denies supplying the rebels with arms.

During a Security Council meeting on Dec. 19, US Ambassador Nikki Haley called the Houthis' firing of a ballistic missile on Riyadh "a flashing red siren" and said the US would push for action against Iran but Russia signaled its opposition. — Agencies