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Iran denies supplying missile fired at Saudi gov't, threatens U.S. complaint

By
Susan McFarland
Houthi supporters shout and brandish weapons during an anti-Saudi gathering to mobilize more fighters into several battlefronts, in Sana'a, Yemen on November 10. File Photo by Yahya Arhad/EPA
Houthi supporters shout and brandish weapons during an anti-Saudi gathering to mobilize more fighters into several battlefronts, in Sana'a, Yemen on November 10. File Photo by Yahya Arhad/EPA

Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Accusations that Iran supplied the missile fired at Saudi Arabia's government headquarters on Tuesday are "baseless," according to a foreign ministry spokesman.

The Burkan 2-H ballistic missile, fired at Riyadh's Palace of Yamamah by Houthi rebels, was intercepted by the Saudi military. Shrapnel was found in nearby neighborhoods, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

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A statement by U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the missile targeted a meeting of Saudi leaders in an area crowded with government offices.

"Thankfully, the missile was intercepted before it could hit its intended target. But the very fact of this attack is a flashing red siren for this council," Haley said Tuesday during a U.N. Security Council briefing on Iran. "This is not the first time the Houthis have fired missiles at civilians in a G-20 country. And unless we act, it won't be the last."

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Haley said the attack "bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons."

"It is only a matter of time before one of these missiles hits the target," she said. "If we don't do something, we will miss the opportunity to prevent further violence from Iran."

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The Houthis' Missile Forces said they fired the missile in response to "heinous crimes" by U.S.-Saudi aggression against the people of Yemen.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday Tehran will file a formal complaint about the U.S. accusations.

Zarif told the Islamic Republic News Agency the U.S. remarks are "provocative, purposeful and dangerous."

"They try to hide their support for the bombardment of the innocent Yemenis through such accusations," he said.

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