Iran expands provision of ballistic missile technology to militias

Houthi militants in Yemen

If they support the USA crackdown on Iran in other arenas, Mr. Trump could be more likely to stay in the Iran deal, Haley's team indicates.

The agency said Saudi Arabia also welcomed the USA stand announced by Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and demanded "immediate measures to implement" relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to hold Tehran accountable for its actions.

A Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen imposed a blockade of Yemen's air and sea ports and borders after the missile was sacked at Riyadh, citing concerns that weapons were being smuggled into Yemen.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, will present "irrefutable evidence" that Iran has violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran deal, at a press conference on Thursday. She was there to present what the USA describes as recovered pieces of a missile fired by Houthi militants from that November 4 attack, pointing out the missile bears "Iranian missile fingerprints".

In a message on Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif compared Haley's presentation to then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's 2003 allegations about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which were later found to be false. "The fight against Iranian aggression is the world's fight".

Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran's mission to the United Nations, said Tehran "categorically" rejects the USA claims.

This in itself does not necessarily contravene the deal, however, as the agreement does not explicitly forbid ballistic missile production or distributing arms. The U.S. mission to the United Nations said she would offer "irrefutable evidence that Iran has deliberately violated its worldwide obligations".

In the report, Guterres stressed that the nuclear deal remained "the best way" to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme.




Some have specific markings indicating they were manufactured in Iran. "All four include parts made by [the] Iranian government-run defense industry, and all could have only come from Iran", Seal said.

They also welcomed the American position announced by the United States Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and its condemnation of Iran's hostile activities in supporting and arming terrorist groups. This week the United Nations, too, put out its own report on Iran, which does not mirror the US findings.

US officials point to design features and markings - described as being from government-run defense firms - that indicate the missiles are Iranian Qiam short-range ballistic missiles. "It is an order of magnitude more difficult to prove that to a European or Japanese official, and it's still harder to convince them that it's all Iran's fault that the war in Yemen is where it is".

Iran, it said, appeared to have tried to cover-up the shipment by disassembling the missile for transport, given crude welding used to stitch it back together.

"There are more than half a dozen pieces of evidence demonstrating that these components are directly traceable to Iran", she said.

The weapons systems on display were retrieved from battlefields in the Middle East by US partners in the region - primarily Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Seal said. In the weapons the US inspectors did come some USA components though they would not say exactly which components they were.

The Saudi-led intervention began in March 2015, while former U.S. President Barack Obama was in power. Gesturing to the missiles, she said, "These are the things they're doing while we're all looking the other way".

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