Iran summons Swiss ambassador over US envoy ‘Irresponsible’ missile claim

Tasnim – Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran on Tuesday to protest at an “irresponsible” claim by US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Islamic Republic has provided missile support for Yemen, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.

“In protest at the irresponsible allegations raised by the US ambassador to the UN, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strong and official protest over Nikki Haley’s unwise and unfounded allegations was announced to him,” Qassemi said on Tuesday.

In the meeting with the Swiss ambassador, whose country represents the US interests in Iran, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for Americas condemned the “provocative, irresponsible, and baseless remarks” of the US Ambassador to the UN about the transfer of missiles and weapons from Iran to Yemen, he noted.

During the meeting, the foreign ministry official also submitted Iran’s formal complaint to the Swiss envoy about these allegations that are “based on fake documents”, Qassemi added.

During her press conference on Thursday, Haley appeared standing before parts of a ballistic missile that she claimed Iran delivered to Houthis in Yemen, who then fired it at the Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia last month.

In reply and in a tweet earlier on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif likened Haley’s speech to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s claim in 2003 that Iraq possessed WMDs.

Powell’s 2003 speech to the UN laid out the Bush administration’s case for a war in Iraq. Powell in 2016 called the speech “a great intelligence failure”.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo also rejected Haley’s claim as “baseless” and said the accusations are aimed at covering up the Saudi war crimes in Yemen with the US complicity.

Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by a coalition led by the Saudi regime for nearly three years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Over 14,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.