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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

France expresses concern over Iranian violations of Houthi arms embargo

A report found Iran was responsible for failing to block the transfer of balisitic missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen

A still image taken from a video distributed by Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station on November 5, 2017, shows what it says was the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Riyadh's King Khaled Airport a day earlier.
A still image taken from a video distributed by Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station on November 5, 2017, shows what it says was the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Riyadh's King Khaled Airport a day earlier.

France has expressed concern over a UN report that claims Iran has violated an arms embargo in Yemen.

Released last week, the report concluded that Iran had violated UN Security Council Resolution 2216 introduced in 2015, which included the imposition of sanctions and an arms embargo on the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group.

Paris welcomed the findings. “It condemns the serious non-compliance with the obligations of Resolution 2216 which the Iranian authorities have committed by not taking all the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of missiles and their components, and drones to individuals and entities subject to UN sanctions, particularly the Houthis”, the statement read.

The report found that Iran had failed to block the transfer of ballistic missiles to the Houthis, the same model of missile was later fired on King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital Riyadh last November. Though it was intercepted before reaching its target.

The French statement added “France has condemned on several occasions the firing of ballistic missiles by the Houthis, targeting Saudi territory and Red Sea maritime traffic, which are a source of destabilization for the whole region.”

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The French criticisms came just days after US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it was “time for the security council to act” in response to the report.

A draft text of a new resolution on Yemen, sponsored by France, Britain and the US would allow the 15-member UN security council to impose targeted sanctions for “any activity related to the use of ballistic missiles in Yemen”.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has been lobbying for months for Iran to be held accountable at the United Nations, while at the same time threatening to quit a 2015 deal among world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear programme if “disastrous flaws” are not fixed.

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