U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday revealed to the public for the first time recovered fragments of what she described as Iranian weapons supplied to Houthi militants in Yemen, declaring it proof of Tehran's breech of U.N. rules.
Haley, delivering a press conference from a hangar at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling outside of Washington, displayed pieces of a missile she said was fired by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen toward a civilian airport in Saudi Arabia last month.
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She said the weapon bears "Iranian missile fingerprints," pointing out two corporate logos from Tehran-based manufacturers and certain design features unique to the Islamic Republic.
"It's hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran's fingerprints all over it," Haley said.
Iran swiftly dismissed the evidence as "fabricated" and accused the United States of leveling "baseless accusations."
"This purported evidence, put on public display today, is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier," said Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran's mission to the U.N.
Haley's announcement arrived hours after the U.N. issued a report warning that Tehran may be breaching a U.N. resolution calling upon Iran to halt its ballistic missile development. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in the report the international body is investigating Tehran's possible transfer of ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen that may have been used in two separate launches against Saudi Arabia on July 22 and Nov. 4.
Haley said the weapons recovered by the U.S. Defense Department showed "without a doubt these are Iranian-made, these are Iranian-sent, and these are Iranian-given."
"This is a blatant violation of what they are not supposed to be doing," she said.
Haley called on allies and regional partners to stop "tiptoeing" around Iranian violations out of fear Tehran will leave the nuclear accord. The Pentagon rarely declassifies military equipment recovered from ongoing operations, but Haley said the Trump administration felt it "urgent" to compel allies to counter Iran's destabilizing actions.