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Iran blames Yemen war on British, US arms exports


AFP Tehran
Iran today rejected Western claims that it was arming Huthi rebels in Yemen, saying the conflict was instead the result of British and US arm supplies to Saudi Arabia.

"The Islamic republic of Iran wants an end to the aggression in Yemen by Saudi Arabia," said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi in comments carried by Iran's Al-Alam news site.

"What is happening in Yemen is the result of the export of British and American weapons to Saudi Arabia and such behaviour is unacceptable," he added.

A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Yemen almost daily since 2015 as it attempts to dislodge Huthi rebels who seized control of the capital, in a conflict that has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis according to the United Nations.

A UN report last month said Tehran had breached an arms embargo by failing to stop weapons reaching the Huthis.

It said a missile fired into Saudi Arabia last year by the Huthis was made in Iran, though it was unable to definitively identify the supplier.

A UN resolution drafted by Britain called for "additional measures" against Iran over the report.

"This resolution, if adopted, would provide support to the aggressor," said Ghasemi, referring to Saudi Arabia.

"Such resolutions do not help the situation in Yemen and are an effort by the British government to use international mechanisms to create a supportive climate for the aggressor."

Russia, which is allied with Iran in the Syria war, maintains that the UN report's findings are not conclusive enough to justify action against Iran.

It presented a rival resolution on Saturday, extending sanctions on Yemen but without any reference to possible action targeting Tehran.

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First Published: Feb 26 2018 | 4:55 PM IST

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