U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley condemned Iran’s continued support of the Houthis, an Islamic rebel group in Yemen that has continued to attack Saudi Arabia.
“To achieve enduring peace in Yemen, Iran must stop its interference and its violations of the arms embargo this Council imposed,” Haley said in an address to the U.N. Security Council. “Last week, the Houthis launched yet another round of ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia. At the end of March, debris from a Houthi missile attack against the capital of Saudi Arabia killed a civilian.”
The arms embargo, known as Security Council Resolution 2216, aimed to stop Iran from arming rebel groups in Yemen and demanded the Houthis cease all offensive operations. Clearly, thinks Haley, neither the Iranians nor the Houthis are complying with the resolution.
“Each day that goes by the risk of greater regional conflict increases,” Haley said. “And yet this Council has not acted to hold the Houthis and Iran accountable for weapons that violate the arms embargo and Security Council Resolution 2216.”
While the other members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, Russia, a permanent member, abstained from the vote.
In July of 2017, Haley displayed pieces of an Iranian built ballistic missile that had been used by the Houthis to attack Saudi Arabia. The U.S. also released captured video showing the Houthis using a remote-controlled boat bomb to attack the Royal Saudi Navy Frigate Al Madinah in January of 2017.
Along with condemnation of the Iranian meddling in Yemeni affairs, Haley stressed that the international community needs to do more to help the citizens of Yemen.
“The bottom line is that 18 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from. Something has to change,” Haley said.
So far, the United States has pledged almost $87 million for humanitarian aid in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also pledged close to $1 billion toward U.N. aid efforts.
Haley hopes in the future that the U.N. Security Council will refer to both the Houthis and Iran by name when it speaks about the crisis in Yemen. Hopefully, Haley added, continued aid to the people of Yemen and unilateral disapproval will result in a peaceful resolution.
“If we do these things, we can lay the groundwork for an enduring political settlement,” she said.