Washington DC (GPA) – Hell bent on finding Iran in violation of the nuclear agreement, US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, presented “evidence” as an attempt to rally an international coalition against Tehran.
Haley spoke at a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on Thursday. Behind her on display were fragments of a Yemeni missile launched at the King Khalid International airport last month in retaliation for Riyadh’s ongoing war against the country.
Her statements include a lot of allegations and implications to unpack.
The missile fragments
Despite Saudi and US claims that Riyadh intercepted the missile, fragments on display prove otherwise. Geopolitics Alert reported at the time that Saudi Arabia did not intercept the missile as claimed and that it did, in fact, reach its target. Thus proving once again that Riyadh and Washington will continue with lies to make up for their failures on the ground.
Just a week prior to Haley’s speech, a UN panel of experts had already determined the Yemeni missile could not be used to mount evidence against Tehran. Although the UN found what they called “Iranian parts” they also found components manufactured by US companies. Late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was a close ally of George Bush and enjoyed considerable military aid for several years.
As for the “Iranian parts,” there is no way to tell when the components entered Yemen. As a result, this cannot be used as evidence that Tehran is in violation of UN resolution 2231 which prohibits Iran from transferring ballistic missiles outside the country. Furthermore, the UN report states that these particular components “resemble” Iranian parts which is obviously open to interpretation.
“They show a cylinder and say Iran’s fingerprints are all over it, while everyone knows that Yemen acquired some missile capabilities from the Soviet Union and North Korea in the past,” Head of the IRGC Public Relations Department General Ramezan Sharif said.
This isn’t the first time Yemen’s Ansarullah (Houthi) forces have launched retaliatory long-range missiles at Riyadh. It’s interesting that the US waits until their objectives in Yemen have completely failed to bring this so-called Iranian evidence to light.
Another elephant in the room: US weapons to Saudi Arabia
The Yemeni missile launched at the King Khalid Airport in November produced no casualties and did no damage to infrastructure.
Prior to this event, Yemeni forces have only launched attacks on Saudi military targets. After over two years of airstrikes, Yemen’s resistance announced they would increase their attacks to include economic targets such as oil refineries and airports.
On the other hand, over 13,000 people have died as a direct result of Saudi airstrikes and military force — all of which is supported and encouraged by the United States. The US supplies the majority of Saudi weapons, provides refueling for warplanes, assists troops on the ground, and aids intelligence efforts.
The Saudi blockade and siege of Yemen — another violent act — has killed tens of thousands more. The blockade restricts food, medical supplies, fuel, and flow of movement. As a direct result, roughly eight million Yemenis face famine with another 17 million facing food insecurity. The siege has also triggered a cholera and diphtheria outbreak killing roughly 3,000 and infecting nearly one million. Since fuel is scarce and expensive, water pumps cannot operate properly.
The civilian costs of US support for the Saudi war against Yemen are infinite.
Massacres on a daily basis
Since the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Saudi Arabia has increased their airstrikes against civilian targets.
On Wednesday of last week, Saudi warplanes killed over 50 people after attacking a prison, market, homes, and vehicles. Earlier in the week attacks targeted a media office killing at least four workers. Just one day later, Saudi airstrikes killed another 70 targeting civilian areas. Today, 12 women lost their lives after Riyadh targeted a wedding procession.
Where is Yemen’s investigation into these war crimes? Who will prosecute Riyadh for their genocidal behavior? How can anyone with an ounce of dignity take Haley seriously under these circumstances?
While #Iran has been calling for ceasefire, aid and dialogue in #Yemen from day 1, US has sold weapons enabling its allies to kill civilians and impose famine. No amount of alternative facts or alternative evidence covers up US complicity in war crimes. (https://t.co/VALDSWgMUv) pic.twitter.com/7fkbIJs9MA
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 15, 2017
When I was based at the UN, I saw this show and what it begat… pic.twitter.com/2sAsMB6o4m
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 14, 2017
Rallying an international coalition against Iran
As previously documented by Geopolitics Alert, the US is unlikely to build an international coalition against Iran.
Since lifting sanctions, European investors have jumped at the chance to do business with Iranian entities.
After failed invasions of Iraq, Libya, and Syria, the NATO coalition does not seem interested in following the United States into another disastrous and costly “regime change” operation.
After all, that really is the ultimate point of Haley’s rhetoric: to rally a coalition against Iran. The United States has already isolated itself by backtracking on the nuclear deal and now are attempting to cover their tracks while taking Europe down with them.
While unlikely and foolish, building an international coalition against Tehran wouldn’t be completely impossible. In September, French President Emmanuel Macron lashed out at Iran citing their support for the Syrian government. Macron also expressed concern over Tehran’s ballistic missile program.
Following Haley’s inflammatory rhetoric, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Macron not to “blindly follow” behind the Trump regime.
“To sustain its international credibility, France should not blindly follow the Americans … The French president is now acting as Trump’s lapdog,” Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
Tehran is not taking Haley’s accusations lightly. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif likened the event to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s infamous “weapons of mass destruction” speech which was used to rally international effort against Iraq in 2003.
Once again, Yemen seems to be the only country left out of the equation who considers their own weapons program vital to economic stability and general security.
Ansarullah leaders and Yemeni officials condemned Haley’s statements as ridiculous and laughable. Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh of Yemen’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission urged the international community to stop US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia — which are used to maim children and kill tens of thousands of people.
“We call on the international community to consider the crimes committed through American made weaponry,” Falahatpisheh said.
In May of this year, Donald Trump continued in the footsteps of his predecessor by finalizing a $110 billion weapon contract with Riyadh.
Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi Nord is a US-based geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen, Iran, and Lebanon. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she started learning about the media’s pivotal role in selling “humanitarian” interventions as a teenager during the aftermath of 9/11 and Iraq war. Randi Nord has lived in the Empire’s neoliberal tropical paradise (Kingdom of Hawai’i) and Lebanon. She frequently participates in the UN Human Rights Council as a guest of NGOs speaking about Yemen.