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Russia set for UN veto of resolution targeting Iran's weapon transfers to Yemen Open in fullscreen

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Russia set for UN veto of resolution targeting Iran's weapon transfers to Yemen

Iran has repeatedly denied arming the Houthis in Yemen, despite US and Saudi claims. [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2018

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Iran has repeatedly denied arming the Houthis in Yemen, despite claims by the United States and Saudi Arabia that the evidence of an arms connection is irrefutable.

Russia looks set to veto a British, US and French bid on Monday to call out Iran at the United Nations Security Council over its weapons falling into the hands of Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The council is set to vote on Monday on renewing sanctions on Yemen for a year, but a British-drafted text also calls for "additional measures" in response to a UN report which found that Iran had violated the arms embargo on Yemen.

The rival Russian-drafted text presented to the council on Saturday and seen by AFP would extend the sanctions regime on Yemen until February 2019 without any reference to the UN report's findings on Iran and possible action targeting Tehran.

The report by a UN panel of experts concluded that Iran was in violation of the 2015 arms embargo after determining that missiles fired by the Houthis at Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran.

Russia maintains that the report's findings are not conclusive enough to justify action against Iran. 

Diplomats said Russia could veto the British text, allowing for a vote on its own draft resolution.

Britain, backed by the United States and France, had initially sought to condemn Iran, but that was dropped in negotiations.

The last draft resolution expresses "particular concern" that "weapons of Iranian origin were introduced in Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo" and that Iran is in "non-compliance" with UN resolutions.

The council would express "its intention to take additional measures to address these violations," according to the British-drafted text.

It adds that "any activity related to the use of ballistic missiles in Yemen" meets the criteria for imposing UN sanctions.

Iran has repeatedly denied arming the Houthis in Yemen, despite claims by the United States and Saudi Arabia that the evidence of an arms connection is irrefutable.

Russia, which has traditionally friendly relations with Iran, is providing military support along with Tehran to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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