While the US has long accused Iran of having directly and heavily armed Yemen’s Houthi (Ansarullah resistance) movement, and Iran has denied any such thing, concrete proof has remained elusive. This continues to be the case, though a new biased report by the United nations is likely to continue to fuel the baseless allegations.
The UN panel claims they have found that Iran is in violation of the Yemen arms embargo, and that there is evidence that some of the missiles the Yemeni resistance fighters have contain components that originated in Iran after the embargo was in place. There is still no evidence the Iranian government actually provided any of this, and rather the panel is simply alleging that the Iranian government’s violation is failing to prevent such transfers.
Subtleties don’t always make their way into the rhetoric, however, and it’s likely the US and Saudis will prevent this as proof the Iranian government “sent the missiles,” even though this was never even attempted to be proven by the UN panel. But what about the US-backed, Saudi-led war crimes in Yemen which are still ongoing while the UN is not doing a damn thing about it? What about a report on that? And why on earth isn’t this happening? The answer, of course, is obvious:
Anytime there is a damning report against Saudi Arabia, its allies pile pressure on the United Nations to bin it. For instance, they once successfully managed to force former UN chief Ban Ki-moon over the blacklisting of the Saudi-led coalition for killing children in Yemen, with Riyadh threatening to cut funds to UN programs. This forced the UN to remove the coalition from the child rights blacklist pending a joint review by the world body and the coalition of cases of child deaths and injuries that never came later.
That removal prompted angry reactions from human rights groups, which accused the UN of caving in to pressure from powerful countries. They said Ban risked harming his legacy as UN secretary-general. But that was it really. Ban’s office was bombarded with calls from Persian Gulf Arab foreign ministers, as well as ministers from the EU, after which the blacklisting was removed.
This was also followed by American-Israeli bullying, threats, pressures multiplied by real blackmail. There was also a threat of clerics in Riyadh to issue a fatwa against the UN, declaring it anti-Muslim, which would mean no contacts, no relations, no contributions and no support by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and number of their allies to any UN projects and programs.
A fatwa is a legal opinion used in Islamic sharia law. In Saudi Arabia fatwas can only be issued by the group of top, government-appointed clerics and are sometimes commissioned by the ruling family to back up its political positions.
That Riyadh still uses threats or intimidation and is not committed to the United Nations is beyond dispute. What is surprising is that no country in the West, including the US, ever bothered to condemn the Saudi-led pressure. Instead, many condemned the blacklisting of the coalition!
Their other allies described the annual UN report on Saudi Arabia that violates child rights in its war on Yemen as “wildly exaggerated” and demanded that it be corrected. The main complaints were that the UN had not based its report on information supplied by the Saudi-led forces and accused the world body of not consulting with the coalition.
Funny how the same UN is now talking about Iran violating its arms embargo against Yemen! This is the same UNRWA that Saudi Arabia is its fourth biggest donor after the United States, European Union and Britain, having supplied it nearly $100m last year. Its allies Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are also key donors for UNRWA, together supplying nearly $50m in 2015. Which begs the question: Are these donors at it again? Are they now pushing the world body to issue a bogus report against Iran instead?
The Saudi-led coalition in the war against Yemen includes the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan – along with the United States, Britain, and Israel. There is every indication that the US and Israel have encouraged the UN to reverse the blacklisting of the coalition and issue a report instead that criticizes Iran.
Long story short, and as the UN report suggests this year, the Saudi-led coalition is responsible for 60% of child deaths and injuries in Yemen and the surest way for them to force the world body to look the other way is to blackmail it to issue misleading reports against Iran. The UN should take very seriously these misleading moves, including of course the Saudi war crimes in Yemen. Under its Charter, the world body should urge the Saudi-led invaders to end the war and comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law.