World

U.S. Accuses Iran of Missile Attack on Saudi Arabia Launched From Yemen

GettyImages-892487460
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley unveils previously classified information intending to prove Iran violated UNSCR 2231 by providing the Houthi rebels in Yemen with arms during a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia in Washington, D.C.; she has accused Iran of likely being behind another, similar attack. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The United States has said it believes Iran was behind the most recent attempted attack on Saudi Arabia after a ballistic missile fired from Yemen was shot down over Riyadh Tuesday.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the attack on the Saudi capital bore “all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons.”

Related: Israel and Saudi Arabia can halt Iran’s march and pull the Middle East back from the brink

"We must all act co-operatively to expose the crimes of the Tehran regime and do whatever is needed to make sure they get the message. If we do not, then Iran will bring the world deeper into a broadening regional conflict," she told the U.N.’s Security Council.

During her speech she also pointed to the secretary general's report that said Iran was not fully complying with Resolution 2231, which restricts arms sales.

The Saudi-led coalition said the missile, the latest in a series of missiles fired toward Riyadh by Houthi rebels in Yemen, had targeted densely populated residential areas but was stopped by U.S. Patriot interceptors, resulting in no loss of life or damage.

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen said they had targeted Saudi Arabia’s al-Yamamah Court. Saudi leader King Salman was due to announce the country’s budget at that location on the same day. Later reports on Yemen’s al-Masirah television channel said a Volcano H-2 ballistic missile had targeted the royal palace in in reaction to Saudi-U.S. aggression.

Nikki Haley has been leading the U.S. campaign implicating Iran in the last Yemeni missile attack on Riyadh on November 4. Unveiling ordinance recovered from the crash site of the attack she said the U.S. had “undeniable” evidence the missile, which targeted the Saudi capital’s domestic airport, was “made in Iran.”

According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has described Iran’s supply of rockets to the Houthis as “direct military aggression” that could be an act of war.

Iran denied supplying weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels and has consistently accused the United States and Saudi Arabia of fueling the armed conflict in the country. The U.N. said at least 136 non-combatants have been killed in war-torn Yemen by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes since December 8.

Yemen has been plagued by sectarian civil war since March 2015 when Shiite Houthi rebels drove the country’s president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile and seized the country’s capital Sanaa. In 1,000 days of fighting since the conflict began  8,670 people have been killed and 49,960 injured according to the U.N.

In protest over Halley’s accusations concerning the November attack on Riyadh, Iran summoned the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran who represents Washington’s interests in the Islamic Republic.

Haley has said on the basis of the recent attacks from Yemen and the actions of other Iranian-backed proxies in the region, a new U.N. resolution against Tehran should be considered; however, she faces stiff opposition from Russia and China, both of which would be likely to veto such a move.

Editor's Pick