President Trump’s top United Nations envoy on Thursday accused Iran of violating Security Council bans on weapons transfers, as she stood next to the wreckage of Iranian rockets she said were taken from Saudia Arabia and other battlefields in the Middle East.
“We do not often declassify this type of military equipment recovered from these attacks, but today we are taking the extraordinary step of presenting it here in an open setting,” said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. “We did this for a single urgent purpose: because the Iranian regime cannot be allowed to engage in its lawless behavior any longer. International peace and security depends on us working together against the Iranian regime’s hostile actions.”
Haley spoke to reporters from a hangar at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., alongside a series of weapons systems that she sourced back to Iran. Most notably, she pointed to a ballistic missile Saudi Arabia salvaged from an attempt to strike King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. That missile was launched by the Houthis, according to American and Saudi officials, a rebel group in Yemen that is backed by Iran.
“The Iranians are not supposed to be exporting any missiles or any related material,” Haley said. “You will look at all of these weapons and there are markings all over it that show without a doubt these are Iranian-made, these are Iranian-sent, and these are Iranian-given.”
Haley emphasized that the U.N. Security Resolution banning such weapons transfers is the same one that authorized the international implementation of the nuclear deal negotiated during former President Barack Obama’s tenure. She used that linkage to set the table for a pressure campaign against Iran — an implicit rebuttal of U.S. allies who see Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal itself as an argument against the Trump administration’s aggressive posture.
“This is blatant violations of what they are not supposed to be doing,” she said. “And what we are saying is, everybody has tiptoed around Iran for fear of them getting out of the nuclear deal. And they are allowing missiles like this to be fired over [at] innocent civilians, and that is what has to stop.”
She suggested that Saudi Arabian clashes with the Houthis have prompted western allies to rethink their position on pressuring Iran.
"They all know that this could have hit anyone of their airports,” Haley said. “I think now they realize they can't look the other way any longer, they have to address this.”