US Allegations of Iran Missiles in Yemen Met With Skepticism
December 17, 2017
AntiWar.com & Reuters & Moon of Alabama
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented what she called "irrefutable" evidence that a Yemen-fired missile was of Iranian origin on Thursday, but there remains substantial speculation about what, if anything, she actually proved in the presentation. Haley's presentation was very light on specifics. France was very clear about how skeptical they are of the Haley comments, noting that the UN has not drawn any conclusions.
US Allegations of Iran Missiles in Yemen Met With Skepticism
France Notes UN Has Not Drawn Any Conclusions
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(December 15, 2017) – US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented what she called "irrefutable" evidence that a Yemen-fired missile was of Iranian origin on Thursday, but there remains substantial speculation about what, if anything, she actually proved in the presentation.
Haley pushed the idea that the missile shown, apparently the one fired at the Riyadh airport by Yemeni forces, was provided by Iran, saying the UN had said this was the case. The UN, however, never made any such finding.
France was very clear about how skeptical they are of the Haley comments, noting that the UN has not drawn any conclusions themselves, and French officials are still working with very limited data regarding the allegations.
Haley's presentation was very light on specifics, and appeared to just echo Saudi Arabia's own allegations of the missile being from Iran. That the US finds the Saudi narrative convenient is unsurprising, as they're eager to move against Iran on any pretext. With Yemen insisting they made the missile themselves, however, the lack of evidence to the contrary is going to raise a lot of doubts.
France Cautious Over US
"Evidence" on Iran Weaponry in Yemen
John Irish / Reuters
PARIS (December 15, 2017) -- France reacted cautiously on Friday to US evidence which allegedly proved Iran supplied weapons to Houthi militia in Yemen, saying it was still studying information at its disposal and the United Nations had yet to draw any conclusions.
The United States on Thursday presented for the first time pieces of what it said were Iranian weapons supplied to the Houthis, describing it as conclusive evidence that Tehran was violating U.N. resolutions.
The arms included charred remnants of what the Pentagon said was an Iranian-made short-range ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Nov. 4 at King Khaled International Airport outside Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, as well as a drone and an anti-tank weapon recovered in Yemen by the Saudis.
When asked whether Paris believed that evidence was irrefutable, foreign ministry deputy spokesman Alexandre Giorgini declined to respond directly.
"The United Nations secretariat has not, at this stage, drawn any conclusions. France continues to examine the information at its disposal," he said.
Tensions between Iran and France have increased in recent weeks after President Emmanuel Macron said Tehran should be less aggressive in the region and clarify its ballistic missile programme.
Giorgini said France remained concerned by Iran's ballistic missile programme and urged it to abide fully by U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.
Resolution 2231, which enshrined the landmark nuclear deal with world powers, calls on Iran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear bombs, including launches using such technology. It stops short of explicitly barring such activity.
France's foreign minister is due in Washington on Monday to in part to discuss Iran and will travel to Tehran at the start of January.
Haley Fails To Make Case About
Yemeni Missiles -- Ignores Saudi War Crimes
Moon of Alabama
(December 15, 2017) -- Yesterday the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley went to the Defense Intelligence Agency for a little show. She claimed to expose Iran as an illegal source of weapons used by Yemeni forces in their fight against Saudi aggressors.
It reminded of the times when Vice President Dick Cheney visited the CIA to tell its analysts what they were supposed to write about "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction".
Haley covered the advice she was giving to the DIA as a press conference. Her props were alleged missile parts recovered somewhere at some unknown time. She claimed that these were provided by the Saudis and the UAE and showed debris of missiles fired from Yemen. Haley further claimed that Iran had delivered such missiles to Yemen in breach of UN resolution 2231 that restricts such transfers.
There are several possible explanations of where the Houthi and their then allied Yemeni army might have acquired such missiles. But even if one accepts that Iran delivered these, it is unknown when such deliveries might have taken place. It could have happened years before the UN resolution restricted such deliveries. Haley's show proved nothing with regards to any breach.
Haley claimed that the UN had found that the missile debris on display was from an Iranian Qiam missile. But the UN has made no such findings. It only said that the debris and Qiam missiles "had similar structural and manufacturing features". The Iranian Qiam missile . . .
. . . is a short-range ballistic missile designed and built by Iran. It was developed from the Iranian Shahab-2, a licensed copy of the North Korean Hwasong-6, all of which are versions of the Soviet Scud-C missile.
There are many variants of the Soviet Scud family (A, B, C) produced in various countries and they naturally all have "similar structural and manufacturing features".
The Yemeni military bought Soviet Scuds (pdf) and Scuds were used in earlier conflicts between north and south Yemen. The Yemeni military also bought North Korean Hwasong 5 and likely also Hwasong 6 missiles directly from North Korea. The Yemeni army has over 30 years of experience with such missiles and qualified personal to modify these if needed.
Haley simply lied about the UN findings. They do not say what she claims. Indeed the UN panel acknowledged that the similarities found do not prove the origin:
[T]he panel said it "as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier" of the missiles, . . .
Haley pointed to one alleged part of the missile debris that bore a logo of an Iranian company. She neglected to point out that the UN panel also found US made hardware as part of the missiles. Neither proves where the missile came from.
The Zionist lobby wants the US to wage war on Iran and Nikki Haley is in their pocket. The extremely rich, ultra-right Zionist Sheldon Adelson was the biggest sponsor of her political career.
Haley neglected to point out that Yemeni missiles have killed no one in Saudi Arabia while Saudi Arabia has killed then-thousands of Yemeni civilians with US provide bombs and missiles. It is Saudi Arabia that is blockading Yemen and causing a very large famine.
The Saudis recently claimed that they has lifted the blockade but even USAID says that there is no sign that the blockade has changed. Hundreds of people in Yemen are dying each day for lack of food and simple medicine.
In view of such a catastrophe one might even hope that Iran provides hundreds of missiles to Yemen to push the Saudis into ending their genocidal policies.
Haley's show did not go down well. She convinced the Saudis of course but neither US media nor European governments accepted her show. As the New York Times correctly writes:
. . . the evidence she showcased at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling . . . fell short of proving her claims.
The United States acknowledged it could not say precisely when the weapons were transferred to the Houthis, and, in some cases, could not say when they were used. There was no immediate way to independently verify where the weapons were made or employed.
The Trump administration is looking for reasons to push more sanctions on Iran. It especially wants the EU to take part in a renewed sanction regime. A "ballistic missile threat" might be a way to get there. France and Germany had offered the US to follow its anti-Iranian course with regards to ballistic missiles if it keeps busting the nuclear agreement with Iran off the table.
Haley's stunt shows that this was an extremely stupid move. If one makes an offer to the US that one will follow policy A when B is proven, the US will simply lie and fabricate evidence to claim that B is there.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.