2019 attacks in Saudi Arabia: arms have 'Iranian origin', UN confirms

A photo taken on September 18, 2019 shows fragments of what the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense presented as cruise missiles and Iranian drones recovered after the attack on Aramco facilities. Fayez Nureldine / AFP

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Against the backdrop of still very lively tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a United Nations report estimates that drones and missiles which targeted Saudi territory in 2019 have an "Iranian origin". Tehran categorically denies.


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The Islamic Republic of Iran had already been singled out by the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany. But it is a report of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres , submitted to the Security Council Thursday June 11, which affirms it: the drones and the missiles used in four attacks against Saudi Arabia in 2019 - or in all case some of their elements - "  are of Iranian origin  ".

For its part, Iran rejected, Friday, June 12, the conclusions of this report which details the examination of debris from cruise missiles and drones used in the attacks. Iranian authorities say the UN "  lacks expertise to carry out sophisticated investigations  ."

These attacks had targeted oil installations and Abha International Airport between May and September 2019. They had hit particularly sensitive targets, even temporarily disrupting the production of Aramco, the Saudi oil giant. These attacks were claimed by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, but for Riyadh, there is no doubt that Iran is the main arms supplier to this movement.

►Read: Middle East: How the war in Yemen " strengthens Iran "

The document submitted to the Security Council also mentions seizures of Iranian weapons off the coast of Yemen in violation of the international embargo. To which the Islamic Republic replied on May 22 that "  it was not [its]  policy to export arms in violation of the arms embargoes decreed by the Security Council  ".

(With AFP)

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  • Iran
  • UN
  • Saudi Arabia

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