Tehran strongly denied on Wednesday that it had supplied weapons to Yemeni rebels which they used in attacks on its archfoe Saudi Arabia as alleged by both Riyadh and Washington.
“We have no arms link with Yemen. The accusation that Iran gives weapons to various groups is rejected and we strongly deny it. Yemen is in a blockade and such possibility does not exist anyway,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told the ISNA news agency after Saudi Arabia said it had intercepted a rebel missile over Riyadh on Tuesday that it suggested was “Iranian-manufactured”.
The audacious attack aimed at the heart of Saudi power follows the downing of another missile last month near Riyadh airport that triggered the tightening of a Saudi-led blockade on hunger-stricken Yemen. Weapons used by the rebels “to defend against violation and non-stop attacks” are leftovers of previous governments, Ghasemi said.
“There isn’t even the possibility of sending humanitarian aid.”
A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Shi’ite rebels in Yemen since March 2015 and has repeatedly accused Shi’ite Iran of backing its co-religionists.
“The possession of Iranian-manufactured ballistic weapons by terrorist organizations, including the Iran-backed Huthi militia, is a threat to regional and international security,” a coalition spokesman said on Tuesday.
U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley described the strike as bearing “all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons”. She said Washington would be discussing options for Security Council action against Tehran, although that immediately drew strong reservations from Moscow.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has also rapped the U.S. administration’s new national security strategy, saying that the document would undoubtedly lead the world towards more insecurity.
“The document published by the Trump administration is full of futile efforts by its fabricators to introduce Iran as a threat, which is totally rejected and condemned. The contents of the unconventional text lack any rationale and realism, and are nothing but a repetition of the same allegations, unfounded accusations, and baseless illusions by Washington and a few regional states. The unwise content of this unbalanced and one-sided strategy clearly show that the U.S. government is trying to play the blame game in face of the challenges, dysfunctions and self-created problems it has always been dealing with in the domestic and international arena,” Qassemi stressed.
The Iranian spokesman underlined that the new U.S. national security strategy is a reckless one which will undoubtedly lead the world towards more insecurity, increase instability and expand terrorism. He further noted that the international community’s inattention to the adventurism of the U.S. president has allowed Donald Trump to develop his policies and future outlook based on fabricated and unrealistic threats.
“Such policies,” he added,” will definitely have no achievement but further defeats for the U.S. in the international arena and its areas of interest.”