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Iran rejects Saudi claim on Yemen arms transfer



Iran has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s “unfounded and undocumented” allegation that the Islamic Republic is funneling arms into Yemen.

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), in a statement released on Saturday, categorically rejected the claim made in a September 14 letter by Saudi Arabia to the UN Security Council concerning the alleged transfer of weapons to the Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah fighters and the violation of UN Resolution 2216 by Iran.

“Unsubstantiated claims can be seen in Saudi Arabia’s letter, claims that no impartial body has ever been able to prove,” the Iranian mission’s statement read.

“This is while Saudi Arabia has for over a year and a half been involved in a full-scale, unequal war — which is devoid of logic — against the people of Yemen and has perpetrated undeniable crimes against the country’s defenseless civilians, children and women,” the statement read.

A boy walks at a water facility days after it was hit by Saudi airstrikes in Sana’a, Yemen, September 15, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

“Saudi Arabia, which, while destroying Yemen’s infrastructure, has no compunction about attacking hospitals and schools, is accusing Iran of breaching international resolutions while it (Riyadh) has violated international rules and civilian rights on numerous occasions based on documented reports,” the statement further read.

The Iranian UN mission said it was surprising that Saudi Arabia was complaining to the Security Council about the use of weapons in Yemen while it has itself spent tens of billions of dollars on the purchase of munitions to be used against the people of Yemen.

It said Iran does not believe there is a military solution to the Yemeni crisis and “has always demanded an end to hostilities and disagreements [there] through dialog and recourse to lawful and peaceful mechanisms.”

Saudi Arabia has been pounding Yemen since March 2015, with the UN putting the death toll in the war at about 10,000. The offensive was launched to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Saudi ally who has resigned as Yemen’s president.

People walk on the rubble of a school destroyed in a Saudi airstrike, on the outskirts of the northwestern Yemeni city of Sa’ada, Yemen, September 14, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

A recent survey by a group of academics and human rights activists revealed that Saudi Arabia targeted 3,158 non-military sites in Yemen between March 2015 and the end of August this year.

The findings, published by The Guardian on Friday, further revealed that there were 942 air raids on residential areas, 114 on markets, 34 on mosques, 147 on school buildings, 26 on universities and 378 on transport sites during the mentioned period.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said last month that the death toll from the Saudi military aggression could rise even further as some areas had no medical facilities, and that people were often buried without any official record being made.

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