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UNSC to inspect debris from 'Iranian-made' missile provided to Houthis

US Ambassador Nikki Haley last month presented the fragments as "undeniable" evidence that a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels at Saudi Arabia in November was Iranian-made

AFP | PTI  |  United Nations 

Nikki Haley, syria

The will travel to on Monday to inspect debris from missiles allegedly provided by to Yemen's Houthi rebels and hold meetings at the White House, diplomats said.

The are expected to meet with as the seeks action against Iran, diplomats said.

US last month presented the fragments as "undeniable" evidence that a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels at in November was Iranian-made.

That claim was bolstered when a UN panel of experts concluded in a recent report to the council that had violated the arms embargo on by failing to block supplies of missiles to the rebels.

Haley has invited her UN counterparts to see the missile debris stored in a warehouse at a military base.

"The evidence is undeniable. The weapons might as well have had 'Made in Iran' stickers all over it," Haley told a press conference last month.

The "evidence" stored in includes other pieces of military material allegedly provided by including fragments of an anti-tank missile and drones.

Iran has strongly denied arming the and last month accused Haley of presenting "fabricated" evidence that the November 4 missile fired at was Iranian-made.

Haley is seeking to persuade the to take action against Iran, possibly by imposing sanctions, but will likely face opposition from Russia, which has friendly ties with

A separate report last month said UN officials had examined the missile fragments and found that they were of "common origin" but they were unable to reach any firm conclusions about whether Iran was the source.

The did not immediately respond to a request for information about the council visit to Washington.

It will be the second time that the top UN envoys meet with Trump, who sat down for a lunch meeting with the in April last year.

Relations between the and the have been strained over Trump's decision to recognize as Israel's capital, his threats to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and funding cuts.

The council voted 14-1 to reject Trump's decision, prompting Haley to resort to the US veto to block the condemnation.

The later approved by a vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, the same resolution.

First Published: Fri, January 26 2018. 16:35 IST