Tehran slams as ‘baseless’ UN report of Iran’s arms shipments to Yemen

Press TV – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has slammed as “baseless” a report published by the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) alleging Tehran has been sending arms to war-torn Yemen.

“Placing Iran’s name next to those supplying weapons to the Saudi coalition against Yemen is completely wrong,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Thursday.

The spokesperson said while Iran’s name has only been mentioned once in the report, “it also neglects Iran’s pivotal role and assistance in seeking to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Yemen”.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been waging a war on Yemen with the help of its regional allies and largely assisted by Western-supplied weapons which have been indiscriminately used against Yemeni civilians.

Despite numerous bids to stop arms sales, top Western arms suppliers such as the United States, Britain, Canada, France and Germany have pushed through with lethal weapons shipments to the oil-rich kingdom.

Khatibzadeh said that the OHCHR’s claim of Iran supplying weapons to Yemen amid the Saudi war comes as Western states are openly conducting their sales, “with related figures being published and available”.

“While some of these countries have periodically halted or limited arms to Riyadh due to pressure from human rights groups, the bitter reality is that the lucrative arms trade has persuaded them to ignore their international and moral obligations,” he said.

“They have forgotten that their weapons have been used to kill the Yemenis and destroy the country’s infrastructure. We are consequently seeing the largest humanitarian crisis due to the actions of the Saudi coalition and its arms suppliers,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman added.

Khatibzadeh stressed that while there is no clear evidence about Iranian arms shipments to Yemen, a Saudi-imposed blockade has even stopped Iranian humanitarian aid from reaching the country.

An estimated 100,000 people have so far lost their lives in the Saudi war.

The Saudi war has had a large impact on Yemen’s infrastructure, impairing the impoverished Arab country’s weak industrial, agricultural and medical sectors.