UN panel finds further evidence of Iran link to Yemen missiles



A picture taken on June 19th in Abu Dhabi shows Iranian-made anti-tank missiles which the Emirati armed forces say were used by the Houthis in Yemen in battles against the Arab coalition forces. [Karim Sahib/AFP]

Yemen's Houthis (Ansarallah) are still arming themselves with ballistic missiles and drones that "show characteristics similar" to Iranian-made weapons, a report by a UN panel of experts has found.

In a confidential report to the Security Council, a copy of which was seen by AFP on Monday (July 30th), the panel said it "continues to believe" that short-range ballistic missiles and other weaponry were transferred from Iran to Yemen after an arms embargo was imposed in 2015.

Iran has repeatedly denied that it is arming the Houthis in Yemen, but the US and Saudi Arabia have accused Tehran of providing military support to the fighters.

Recent inspections of weaponry including missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used by the Houthis "show characteristics similar to weapons systems known to be produced in the Islamic Republic of Iran," said the 125-page report.

During recent visits to Saudi Arabia, the panel was able to inspect debris from 10 missiles and found markings that suggest an Iranian origin, said the report spanning January to July this year.

"It seems that despite the targeted arms embargo, the Houthis continue to have access to ballistic missiles and UAVs to continue and possibly intensify their campaign against targets in KSA (Saudi Arabia)," said the report.

The panel said there was a "high probability" that the missiles were manufactured outside of Yemen, shipped in sections to the country and re-assembled by the Houthis.

Financial support to Houthis

In a letter to the panel, Iran maintained that the missiles, which the Houthis have dubbed the Burkan, are a domestic upgrade of SCUD missiles that were part of Yemen's arsenal before the start of the war.

The experts are also investigating information that the Houthis received from Iran a monthly donation of fuel valued at $30 million. Iran has denied providing any financial support to the Houthis.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the council in a separate report in June that some components from five missiles fired at Saudi Arabia were manufactured in Iran but that UN officials were unable to determine when they were shipped to Yemen.

The Houthis are accused of widespread and indiscriminate use of landmines.

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)
Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500