UN Sanctions Iran but Not US for Yemen Weapons

January 13th, 2018 - by admin

Cesar Chelala / CommonDreams & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse – 2018-01-13 23:40:16


Yemen Is Today’s Guernica
The US-backed, Saudi-led massacre of innocent Yemeni civilians

Cesar Chelala / CommonDreams

(January 3, 2018) — On the market day of April 26, 1937, at the bequest of General Francisco Franco, a bombing of the Basque town of Guernica took place. It was carried out by Spain’s nationalistic government allies, the Nazi German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion and the Fascist Italian Aviazione Legionaria.

The attack, under the code name Operation Rügen, in which hundreds of people died, became a rallying cry against the brutal killing of innocent civilians.

80 years later, however, an even more criminal action is carried out against Yemeni civilians by Saudi Arabia, with the complicity of the United States. 2018 has begun with the usual deadly Saudi strikes. Recent ones in the city of Hodeida have killed 23 people and Yemenis live in fear of new strikes that do not show respect for civilians, including children.

The Yemeni civil war began in 2015 between two factions that claim to represent the Yemeni government. Houthi soldiers clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations against the Houthis, and the US provided logistical and military support for the campaign.

The Houthi rebels make up almost a third of Yemen, and have ruled the country for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the hostilities, the Houthis advance to the south of Yemen has met with the constant bombardment by Saudi Arabia and its allies, resulting in a dramatic humanitarian crisis.

Thousands of people have been killed, many of them civilians, and thousands more have been forced to leave their homes and are desperately trying to find food and potable water.

Contaminated water as a result of an almost total sanitation breakdown has provoked a cholera outbreak considered the worst in history. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 815,000 suspected cases and 2,156 deaths.

At the current rate of infection, experts estimate that the number of cases will reach seven figures by the end of the year. Presently, almost 20 million Yemenis –more than two-thirds of the population- do not have access to clean water and sanitation.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the emergency health-care needs of the population have been so great that health care workers are unable to provide even basic medical care. When fighting intensified in some areas, there were no formal rescue services so residents and relatives had to dig out their loved ones from the rubble of damaged buildings.

An Amnesty International report, “Yemen: The Forgotten War” describes the consequences of the attacks carried out by Saudi Arabia’s coalition: more than 4,600 civilians killed and over 8,000 injured; three million people forced out of their homes, 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance including food, water, shelter, fuel and sanitation and two million children out of school.

The flow of arms however, continues, unabated. “The irresponsible and unlawful flow of arms to the warring parties in Yemen has directly contributed to civilian suffering on a massive scale,” declared James Lynch, from Amnesty International. As Iran continues its support of the Houthis’ ragtag army, reports indicate that Saudi Arabia will purchase $7 billion worth of arms from the US

Human Rights Watch has documented that the Saudi-led coalition was using internationally banned cluster munitions in at least 16 attacks that targeted populated areas, killing scores of civilians including women and children.

Last February, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, “to launch an initiative aimed at imposing an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia” because of its conduct against civilians in Yemen.

In the meantime, health facilities continue to be hit by bombs and health and humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted. In a scene out of Guernica, Amal Sabri, a resident of Mokha, a port city on the Red Sea coast of Yemen, described a Saudi Arabia airstrike, which killed at least 63 civilians, “It was like something out of Judgment Day. Corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes.”

In Yemen today, world powers have not yet learned the lesson from Guernica.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is an international public health consultant and a winner of several journalism awards.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

UN Report Claims Iran Violation
Of Yemen Arms Embargo

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(January 12, 2018) – While the US has long accused Iran of having directly and heavily armed Yemen’s Houthi movement, and Iran has denied any such thing, concrete proof has remained elusive. This continues to be the case, though a new UN report is likely to continue to fuel allegations.

The UN panel says they’ve found that Iran is in violation of the Yemen arms embargo, and that there is evidence that some of the missiles the Houthis have contain components that originated in Iran after the embargo was in place.

That said, there’s no evidence the Iranian government actually provided any of this, and rather the panel is simply saying that the Iranian government’s violation was 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,

UN Report Finds Iran in
Violation of Yemen Arms Embargo

Agence France-Presse & Arab News

UNITED NATIONS (January 13, 2018) — Iran has violated a UN arms embargo by failing to block supplies to Yemen’s Houthi rebels of ballistic missiles that were fired at Saudi Arabia, according to a UN experts’ report seen by AFP on Friday.
The finding is expected to bolster accusations from the US and Saudi Arabia that Iran has supplied weaponry to the Houthis in their war against the Saudi-led coalition.

“The panel has identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo,” said the report presented to the Security Council.

“As a result, the panel finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216” that imposed the ban on arms sales to Yemen in 2015, said the 79-page report presented on Tuesday.

Iran has strongly denied arming the Houthis and last month accused US Ambassador Nikki Haley of presenting “fabricated” evidence that a November 4 missile fired at Riyadh airport was Iranian-made.

Haley told the Security Council last month that the United States will push for action against Iran for providing missiles that have been fired at its ally, but Russia quickly signaled that it would not endorse such plans.
While the experts pointed to the Iranian origin of the missiles, they were unable to identify the supplier and stressed that Iran had failed to provide information to the panel.

Iran “failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, field storage tanks for liquid bio-propellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance,” said the report.

The UN experts traveled to Saudi Arabia in November and again last month to inspect the remnants of missiles fired by the Houthis in May, July, November and December. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015.

More than 8,750 people have died in the war and the country is facing what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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