UN accuses Iran for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, Tehran denies

File photo of Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The United Nations on Friday said that it had determined that Iran was the source for several items in two shipments of arms seized by the United States and for debris left by attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil installations and an international airport, according to a new report.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said some of the items seized by the US in November 2019 and February 2020 "were identical or similar" to those found after the cruise missiles and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in 2019.

He said in a report to the UN Security Council obtained Friday by The Associated Press that some items seized by the US in international waters off Yemen are not only Iranian but may have been transferred in a manner inconsistent with the council resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The secretary-general was reporting on the implementation of the 2015 resolution enshrining the nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It includes restrictions that took effect on Jan. 16, 2016, on transfers to or from Iran of nuclear and ballistic missile material as well as arms. The Security Council is scheduled to discuss the resolution's implementation on June 30, and the U.S. is expected to press for the UN arms embargo against Iran, which is part of it, to be extended indefinitely before it expires in October.

President Donald Trump stops to speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House as he returns to the White House on Marine One in Washington. Photo: PTI

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear agreement in May 2018 and re-imposed US sanctions that had been eased or lifted. American officials contend Iran is working to obtain nuclear-capable missiles, which the Iranians deny.

Iran denies involvement in attacks

Iran's Foreign Ministry dismissed the report  and said in the statement on Friday that the UN might have prepared the report under the "political pressures" of the United States, Xinhua news agency reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the United States has no right to "abuse" the UN to vilify Iran.

Its statement said the UN lacks the capacity, expertise, and knowledge to conduct such a sophisticated and sensitive investigation, adding that the report reproduces exact claims by the United States. In essence, the U.S. is sitting in the driver's seat to shape the so-called 'assessment' regarding the Iranian connection to the attacks, Iran said.

"With no doubt, such reports will not help the peace and security of the region," the statement said.

"Iran strongly advises the UN Secretariat not to move in the direction of the US-prepared scenario seeking to prevent the removal of (a UN) ban on (selling conventional) arms to Iran," read the statement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday said that the United States has no right to "abuse" the UN to vilify Iran.

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