NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cruise missiles used in multiple oil plant attacks and an international airport in Saudi Arabia last year were of “Iranian origin,” the U.N. said. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council in a report seen by Reuters on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a meeting of the Human Rights Council at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, February 24, 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse
Guterres also said that several items in US weapons seizures and related equipment in November 201
Some have design features similar to those also produced by a commercial entity in Iran or have Farsi markings, Guterres said, and some were delivered to the country between February 2016 and April 2018.
He said that “these articles may have been transmitted in a way that is inconsistent” with a Security Council resolution of 2015 that anchors Tehran’s deal with the world power to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
Iran’s mission to the UN in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.N. report.
Washington is pushing the 15-member council to extend an arms embargo on Iran that will expire in October under the nuclear deal. Council veto forces Russia and China have already signaled their opposition to the move.
Guterres reports twice a year to the Security Council on the implementation of an arms embargo on Iran and other restrictions that remained after the agreement.
The US chief said the UN was investigating weapons debris used in attacks at a Saudi oil plant in Afif in May, at Abha International Airport in June and August, and at Saudi oil facilities in Khurais and Abqaiq in September.
“The Secretariat considers that the cruise missiles and / or parts thereof used in the four attacks are of Iranian origin,” Guterres wrote. Guterres also said drones used in the May and September attacks were “of Iranian origin.”
He also said that the UN had observed that some items in the two US seizures “were identical or similar” to those found in debris from the cruise missiles and drones used during the 2019 attacks against Saudi Arabia.
Guterres said that in a letter of May 22, Iran’s UN envoy said “it has not been Iran’s policy to export arms in violation of the Security Council’s relevant arms embargo” and that it will “continue to cooperate actively with the UN in this regard.”
The Security Council will discuss Guterre’s report later this month.
US Ambassador to US Kelly Craft has said she will disseminate a motion for resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran soon. If Washington fails, it has threatened to release all UK sanctions against Iran under the nuclear deal, even though it concluded the 2018 agreement. Diplomats say Washington would likely face a tough, cluttered fight.
Iran has breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the US withdrawal and Washington’s reintroduction of sanctions.
“I urge all Member States to avoid provocative rhetoric and measures that could adversely affect regional stability,” Guterres wrote in the 14-page report.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Grant McCool