Western Powers Condemn Iran Over Alleged Arms-Embargo Violations

Faith Castro
March 2, 2018

A Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government has been fighting the Huthis since 2015 in a war that has led to what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday lauded Russia's veto of a Britain-drafted resolution accusing Iran of violating the UN arms embargo on Yemeni rebels, calling it a "defeat" for the United States. The original resolution that named Iran was drafted by the UK, with the consultation of the United States and France, and was based on the findings of a January report produced by a UN panel of experts.

Iran has denied supplying weapons to the Huthis.

All four countries are signatories to the Iran nuclear deal.

On Monday, the resolution gained 11 favorable votes at the 15-member Security Council but was halted by Russia's veto.

The report by a United Nations panel of experts in January concluded that Iran was in violation after determining that missiles fired by the Houthis at Saudi Arabia previous year were made in Iran.

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Yemen has been consumed by an armed struggle between the government and the rebel Houthis since 2015.

The Western powers said that the move by the Huthis to fire missiles into Saudi Arabia "has the potential to turn a local conflict into a broader regional one".

The war between the Houthis and the coalition-backed government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than 2 million and destroyed much of the country's infrastructure, including the health system.

The Western powers in their statement called on all parties in the conflict to return to peace talks and comply with worldwide humanitarian and human rights law, including allowing food and medical aid shipments into all of the country's ports and airports.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called it the worst deal ever and vowed in January he wouldn't issue more waivers of U.S. sanctions - a requirement under the deal - unless it is amended to prevent Tehran from gradually resuming a variety of now banned nuclear activities.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the wording in the British draft would have had "destabilising ramifications" if adopted, and warned about the effect it would have on Yemen and the region as a whole.

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