The Persian-language Mizan Online News Agency has, in an article, weighed in on a recent controversy regarding whether or not Iran is able to send missiles to Yemen. The full text of the opinion piece follows.
Given the incessant Saudi airstrikes on defenceless Yemeni people over the past three years, the Yemeni army, popular forces, and the Ansarullah Movement (Houthis) increased the range of their missiles by making certain changes to them. They lobbed one of these very missiles at the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a few days ago.
It was 9 pm last Saturday, November 4, 2017, when Yemeni military sources announced that a rocket had successfully struck an airport in Riyadh. It was a Burkan-2H missile fired by the missile units of the Yemeni army and popular committees at International Malik Khalid airport in the Saudi capital.
Denial and Revenge
After the news was announced, Saudi media claimed the country’s missile defence system had intercepted the Yemeni projectile before it could hit the airport. Nevertheless, hours after news spread that Yemen had fired a missile at Saudi soil, Saudi fighter jets attacked two military bases in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and one in the city of Sa’ada. The strikes indicated that Riyadh was to avenge Yemen’s November 4 missile assault.
In the early hours of Sunday (November 5), US President Donald Trump, in strange remarks, accused Iran of being involved in the missile attack.
“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down,” the US President said, referring to the Patriot missile batteries Saudi Arabia has purchased from the US.
Saudi Coalition Blames Iran
The faulty and aggressor Saudi-led coalition also announced in a statement that it had sealed all land, sea and air borders of Yemen. In a baseless claim, the coalition blamed Iran for Yemen’s missile attack on the Riyadh airport. The coalition said Iran’s role in commanding Ansarullah forces in the missile attack on Riyadh was a clear sign of an act of war. The coalition added it regards the attack as a military move and an act of war against Saudi Arabia.
On the same day, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari responded to Trump’s claim that Tehran had provided Sana’a with missiles.
“Trump has made a lot of wrong and unfounded comments and told many lies. He has levelled a lot of accusations against Iran, including this very comment. We are not able to send missiles to Yemen, after all. The missiles belong to the Yemenis themselves. They have increased the missile’s ranges and use them to avenge the blood of their martyrs,” said the top general.
On February 7, Major General Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of the Expediency Council and the former IRGC chief-commander, told Mizan Online News Agency that Yemeni’s attacks on Saudi positions was something natural.
“Nations that come under attack need some time to gain the necessary capabilities. Today, Yemeni people are slowly moving toward self-reliance, and their capabilities are growing day by day. Words that Iran has provided Yemen with weaponry and munitions are sheer lies. The Yemenis already possessed missiles before Saudi Arabia imposed a war on them. They had received a lot of missiles from Russia,” said Rezaei.
No Possibility of Sending Medicines to Yemen, Let Alone Shells and Missiles
Hassan Hanizadeh, an expert on West Asia issues, also told Mizan Online that that the Yemeni army has set up a specialized committee to produce long-range missiles. He said the committee makes changes to the missiles to increase their range and accuracy.
“The accuracy with witch the Yemeni missile hit the Malik Khalid airport in Riyadh has surprised the military experts of the United States, Saudi Arabia and their allies,” said Hanizadeh.
“As the Americans and Saudis do not want to confess that the Yemeni army and Ansarullah have developed deterrence power and can land their missiles on Saudi soil, they level accusations against Iran and say the Islamic Republic provided Yemen with the missiles,” he said.
He said the accusations are mainly aimed at launching a propaganda campaign against Iran and, as a result, isolating the country.
Hanizadeh noted that Yemen is under a total blockade from the sea, land and air, adding US warship are also present in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
Under such circumstances, he added, it is not even possible to send medicines to Yemen, let alone shells and missiles for Ansarullah and the Yemeni army.
It seems that the recent developments in Lebanon and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation, levelling accusations against Iran over the Yemeni missile attack on Saudi Arabia, and the Israeli air raids on Hezbollah’s positions in Syria are all part of a new plot to create tension in the region, he noted.
It is noteworthy that Yemen’s missile strike on the Riyadh airport was part of Yemen’s retaliatory attacks against Saudi Arabia, which has been carrying out airstrikes against innocent Yemeni people.
Trump also claimed it was US-made missile defence systems that Saudi Arabia allegedly used to intercept the Yemeni missile, though reports suggest the projectile actually hit the airport. Trump also continued marketing US-made missile defence systems while aboard the plane en route to Japan, the first stop of his Asian tour. And Bin Salman in a phone conversation with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed that Iran is to blame and has declared war.