Contrary to assertions made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that his nation is “[putting] out fires” in the Middle East in an op-ed published earlier this week, a recent United Nations report shows that Iran is the “arsonist” in the region, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said at a press conference on Thursday.
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) December 14, 2017
Citing President Donald Trump’s October speech in which he outlined a strategy for confronting all threats posed by Iran, Haley said, “We’re also taking a hard look at Iran’s ballistic missile program, its arms exports, and its support for terrorists, proxy fighters, and dictators.” She added that the administration was prompted to do so because since the nuclear deal the “Iranian regime’s behavior is growing worse.”
Haley described a recently-released report from the United Nations Secretary General detailing Iran’s compliance “or noncompliance” with UN Security Council resolution 2231, which implements the nuclear deal, as describing “violation after violation of weapons transfers and ballistic missile activity” by Iran.
“The United States and our partners,” Haley said, “went to great lengths to support the UN investigations into Iranian violations by declassifying evidence so that the world could better be informed of the extent of Iran’s malign activities.” She spoke of a warehouse full of recovered weapons from attacks and thanked Secretary of Defense James Mattis for making them available.
Haley pointed to the remains of a missile that had been “used to attack an international civilian airport in a G-20 country,” referring to last months attempted attack on Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport.
“Just imagine if this missile had been launched at Dulles Airport or JFK, or the airports in Paris, London, or Berlin,” Haley said, adding, “That’s what we’re talking about here. That’s what Iran is actively supporting.”
She then explained that the missile — a short-range ballistic missile — had no stabilizer fins but had nine valves, which are “are essentially Iranian missile fingerprints.”
Haley spoke of other weapons that had been recovered and called on the international community to “join us in a united front resisting this global threat.”
This past August Reuters reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had stepped up its arms smuggling to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. One source told the news agency, “No activity goes ahead in the Gulf without the IRGC being involved. This activity involves a huge amount of money as well as transferring equipment to Iranian-backed groups in their fight against their enemies.”
[Photo: U.S. Department of Defense]