The United States on Thursday presented for the first time pieces of what it said were Iranian weapons supplied to Houthi militia in Yemen, describing it as conclusive evidence that Tehran was violating UN resolutions.
The United States is going beyond Iran's nuclear weapons program, which the theocracy agreed to halt only after overwhelming global pressure.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, will present "irrefutable evidence" that Iran has violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran deal, at a press conference on Thursday.
The report shows Iran arming Houthi rebels in Yemen with missiles and advanced weaponry, and that is what brought Haley to a hangar near the Defense Intelligence Agency here.
While fiercely denouncing Iran, Haley neglected to acknowledge America's own prolonged role in destabilizing the Middle East through its support of a military offensive that continues to slaughter Yemeni men, women and children. "Info I have is less clear", Olof Skoog, Sweden's ambassador to the United Nations, said when asked about Haley's assertions.
Haley added that the report makes a "convincing case" that Iran is illegally providing the Houthi militants in Yemen with unsafe weapons.
In a speech in a warehouse at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in the USA capital, Haley said the United States intelligence community has uniformly and unequivocally assessed that Iran is supplying arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen illegally, against a series of UN Security Council resolutions restricting its export of arms and missiles. A separate United Nations resolution on Yemen bans the supply of weapons to Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and others.
Iran immediately dismissed the evidence as "fabricated", saying the accusations were baseless. However, it did find Iran may be defying the United Nations calls for it to halt ballistic missile development.
She said missiles from Iran have been found in war zones across the Middle East.
To prove the case that Iran-made missiles have been fired from Yemen, the US pieced together a full-length Qiam-1, a short-range ballistic missile, constructed from the debris of two separate missile attacks against Saudi Arabia this year.
Iran, it said, appeared to have tried to cover-up the shipment by disassembling the missile for transport, given crude welding used to stitch it back together. One shredded piece of metal displayed to reporters bore the logo of Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group, an Iranian defense entity under USA sanctions.
"We do not know when they were transported exactly", said Defense Department spokeswoman Laura Seal.
Haley says the White House plans to rally worldwide support to crack down on Iran.
Haley said the missile parts bear markings showing they originate in Iran and that they have technical specifications specific to Iranian-manufactured weapons. It pointed to a key component of a Toophan anti-tank guided missile and a small drone aircraft, both of which were recovered in Yemen.
The crisis has deteriorated under Saudi Arabia's month-long blockade of desperately needed aid supplies in Yemen, where almost 70 percent of the population depends on foreign aid to survive.
"What makes these exploding boats so unsafe is not just that they can explode". It has a guidance system allowing it to track and hit a moving target without an operator on board, so the boat can be deployed to blow up a ship without sending someone on a suicide mission.