Iran: US Presentation of Iranian Arms in Yemen Fabricated

Iran Likens Allegation to Powell's Pre-Iraq War WMD Speech

The Iranian government has issued a statement Thuesday denying that a presentation earlier in the day by the US represented proof that they’d been sending arms to the Shi’ite Houthis in Yemen to resist the US-backed Saudi invasion, saying it was a ‘fabrication.”

The US presentation centered on a short-range ballistic missile fired by Yemen at the Riyadh airport, which US officials claim was Iranian-made and Iranian-sent. US Ambassador Nikki Haley talked up building a new coalition against Iran.

The missile didn’t come with any specific evidence that it was of Iranian-origin, and indeed Yemen has insisted since the firing it was a missile of their own design. The Saudis initially blamed Iran, and the US presented Iran’s guilt as self-evident.

Even with evidence, it’s not clear how damning such an arms shipment would be. After all, of the countless bombs dropped on Yemen over the past two and a half years, the vast majority were US arms provided to the Saudi government. Though it’s not at all clear Iran has anywhere near that sort of relationship with the Houthis, a single missile hardly seems earth-shattering.

Iran’s Foreign Minister likened Haley’s presentation to Colin Powell’s 2003 WMD speech about Iraq, which precipitated the disastrous US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.