Iran Denies UN’s Claim about Transferring Arms to Yemen

Iran Denies UN’s Claim about Transferring Arms to Yemen
Newly recruited Yemeni fighters hold up their weapons in Sana'a before heading to the front line to fight against the Saudi-led coalition, on November 16, 2017. / Photo by Reuters

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson has slammed a report by a UN Human Rights Council panel for ignoring the Islamic Republic’s contributory role in the political settlement of crisis in Yemen and accusing Iran of arming the parties to the conflict.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks on Thursday night in reaction to the report prepared by a panel of experts designated by the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Yemen.

“Although the report has mentioned Iran only once, it has ignored Iran’s pivotal role and its unfailing assistance for the political settlement of crisis in Yemen and has made a totally false claim by putting Iran on a list alongside those who arm the Saudi-led coalition aggressors,” he added.

The spokesman said such anti-Iran allegations are made while the United States and a number of Western governments, including Canada, are blatantly selling arms to the Saudi-led coalition, as the figures and statistics for those arms sales have been made public.

“At certain junctures, a number of those countries stopped or restricted the arms sales to Saudi Arabia under the pressure of human rights bodies, but the bitter fact is that the lucrative arms trade made them disregard their international and moral commitments, as they forgot that the weapons made by them are used for the massacre of Yemeni people and destruction of that country’s infrastructure, in such a way that the Saudi-led coalition and its arms supporters have now caused the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen,” Khatibzadeh said.

It is surprising that the report has mentioned Iran’s name amid the brazen arms support from certain Western states that amounts to billions of dollars in some cases, he added.

“This is while Iran has condemned the Saudi-led coalition’s aggression against Yemen since the very beginning and has always supported the political process in Yemen throughout these years, particularly at three junctures in (the efforts launched in) Kuwait, Stockholm, and the recent efforts of the United Nations special envoy, Mr. Griffiths.”

The spokesperson finally pointed to the severe blockade on Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia, whose name and destructive role have been mentioned tens of times in the UN report, stressing that the inhumane blockade has prevented even the delivery of Iran’s humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Therefore, the allegation of Iran’s arms support for Yemen is basically false and there is no document to prove it, he concluded.

His comments came after a recent report on the “situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014”, prepared by a group of UN human rights experts, claimed that Iran is among the third states providing support for parties to the conflict in Yemen including through arms transfers.

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