RNA - “US disinformation campaign vs Iran continues,” Takht Ravanchi tweeted on Friday, blasting the United States’ back-to-back attempts at spreading “disinformation” about the Islamic Republic.
In somewhat twin attacks targeting Iran in a single day, the US military claimed that one of its warships had seized Yemen-bound weapons believed to be of Iranian “design and manufacture”, while the American mission to the UN skewed one of the world body’s reports to flesh out a claim by Washington and its allies that Iran had struck Saudi Arabian oil facilities in September.
“Apart from absurd claims that Iranian weapons bound for Yemen were seized, US misuses a UN report to say Iran is responsible for an attack on Saudi oil facilities,” Takht Ravanchi added.
The US military claimed that its guided-missile cruiser Normandy had commandeered a vessel laden with the weapons, which it purported were 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three surface-to-air missiles.
Despite routinely hailing Yemeni forces for their decisive defense of the impoverished country against an ongoing US-backed Saudi-led war, Tehran has invariably rejected any allegations by Washington and its allies of ever arming those forces.
The American diplomatic mission, meanwhile, seized on a January 27 report by the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen that had ruled out the likelihood that Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah popular defense movement had launched the reported attacks against a plant belonging to Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil giant in the kingdom’s far east.
The mission said the panel’s findings, therefore, “reinforces the conclusion of the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom that Iran bears responsibility”.
The Iranian ambassador said, “In reality, the report makes no reference to Iranian responsibility.”
The Houthis themselves claimed responsibility for the reported incidents on January 29, saying they had staged rocket and drone strikes at Saudi targets, including Aramco oil facilities. The same UN panel had itself reported last December that “it is unable to independently corroborate” that the weapons allegedly “used in these attacks are of Iranian origin.”
The allegations targeting the Islamic Republic come while the US, the UK, and France, among some other Washington-aligned states, have been providing generous military, logistical, and political support for the Saudi-led war against the Arab world’s most impoverished nation.
The military support has included arming the Saudi military with precision ammunition, and deploying commandos on the Saudi-Yemeni border to try and neutralize the Houthis’ defensive maneuvers.
In a report in September, the Amnesty International announced that precision-guided bombs, manufactured by US company Raytheon, were used in a June airstrike on Yemen’s Southwestern province of Ta’iz that killed six people, including three children.
The rights group analyzed photographs of the remnants of the weapon dug out from the site of the raid by family members, concluding that the bomb that hit a residential building was a US-made 500 pound (230kg) GBU-12 Paveway II.
"It is unfathomable and unconscionable that the US continues to feed the conveyor belt of arms flowing into Yemen's devastating conflict," Rasha Mohammad, Amnesty's Yemen researcher, stated.
Mohammad lashed out at the US, the UK and France for supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition, holding them accountable for "human rights violations" and “war crimes” in Yemen.
"Despite the slew of evidence that the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition has time and again committed serious violations of international law, including possible war crimes, the USA and other arms-supplying countries such as the UK and France remain unmoved by the pain and chaos their arms are wreaking on the civilian population," she said.
“Intentionally directing attacks against civilians or civilian objects, disproportionate attacks and indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians are war crimes,” she added.
She noted that the Western trio “share responsibility for these violations”, by “knowingly” supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition.
“Arms-supplying states cannot bury their heads in the sand and pretend they do not know of the risks associated with arms transfers to parties to this conflict who have been systematically violating international humanitarian law,” she stressed.
Mohamed further called for a “comprehensive embargo on all weapons that could be used by any of the warring parties in Yemen”.
Among the six civilians killed in the attack, which took place in Warzan village in the directorate of Khadir, were a 52-year-old woman and three children, aged 12, nine and six.
According to several reports in the past four years, thousands of Yemenis, including women and children, are being brutally killed by US and Western-made weapons in the ongoing Riyadh-led military campaign against the impoverished Arab country. In early February, a CNN report revealed that Saudi Arabia is “transferring” American weapons to al-Qaeda terrorists and Salafi militias in Yemen.
Washington has been supporting the Saudi-led war against Yemen. As a result of growing international pressure, last year the Pentagon agreed to halt aerial refueling of Saudi military aircrafts. However, the administration of President Donald Trump insists on maintaining close ties with Riyadh mainly because of profitable arms deals that he says are crucial to creating jobs back home.
A year after the war was launched, Trump made his maiden foreign visit to Saudi Arabia, announcing more than $100 billion in arms sales to the kingdom.
Frustrated with Riyadh over its atrocities in Yemen as well as its murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year, American lawmakers have launched several bipartisan legislative steps over the past year to end military support for the kingdom.
The American president has pledged to veto any bills that seek to undermine ties with Saudi Arabia as he did one earlier this year which banned a massive $8 billion arms sale to the kingdom. In mid-April, Trump vetoed a resolution passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives that sought to end US involvement with the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
According to Fars News Agency, Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed tens of thousands of Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children. Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures. Weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals, as well as water and electricity plants, have been targeted, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands.
France, the United States, the Uinted Kingdom and some other Western countries have faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world". According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
The total number of reported fatalities in Yemen has passed the 91,000 mark over the past four and a half years, the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) announced.