Remains of four ballistic missiles Yemen’s Houthis fired at Saudi Arabia this year have most likely been manufactured in Iran, a confidential UN report said.
The report published on November 24 by the independent panel of UN monitors to the Security Council said that the components’ design characteristics and dimensions “inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile.”
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley had previously accused Iran of providing Houthis with a missile fired into Saudi Arabia earlier this year and called for the UN to punish Tehran for violating two UN Security Council resolutions.
According to the report, Saudi military bases were visited by monitors to see remains that authorities had obtained from four missile attacks earlier this year, the last one being on November 4. Monitors also visited “impact points” from the last attack, where they identified other remnants of the missiles.
The UN monitors concluded that the piece of the missiles had been transferred to Yemen where they were later assembled by engineers allied with the Houthi militias and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The missiles were most probably smuggled into Yemen, the monitors said, along “the land routes from Oman or Ghaydah and Nishtun in Al-Mahrah governorate (in Yemen) after ship-to-shore transshipment to small dhows, a route that has already seen limited seizures of anti-tank guided weapons.”
They added that “concealment in cargo of vessels offloading in the Red Sea ports” should be considered an option, although it is highly unlikely.
The findings of the monitors were described as “a significant development” by Iranian affairs expert Majid Rafizadeh.
“They (the findings) corroborate and substantiate what Saudi Arabia and US officials have previously stated that the Houthi missiles targeting Saudi Arabia were made by the Iranian regime. Iran’s action was an act of war which could have killed and wounded hundreds, if not thousands of people,” he said.
Rafizadeh added that the report provides grounds for the international community to hold Iran accountable.
“Words should turn into actions; otherwise Iran will continue to support terrorism, destabilizing the region, and posing threat to lives of many of people in the region. Those Iranian leaders who are responsible for supporting the Houthis and the missiles targeting Saudi Arabia should be brought to justice,” he concluded.