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US: Iran Floods Unstable Regions With Advanced Weaponry

November 30, 2018 by  

The United States is sounding more warnings about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East and beyond, urging countries to take action or risk growing instability and conflict. To back up its assertions, the U.S. on Thursday unveiled what it said was more evidence of Tehran’s meddling: pieces of missiles, rockets, drones and other Iranian weaponry, either recovered from Iranian proxies or interdicted on the high seas. “The new weapons we are disclosing today illustrate the scale of Iran’s destructive role across the region,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters while standing in front of a section of a Sayyad-2C surface-to-air missile he said had been intercepted by Saudi forces earlier this year, before it could reach Houthi rebels in Yemen. “Tehran is intent on increasing the lethality and reach of these weapons to deepen its presence throughout the region,” Hook said. “We are one missile attack away from a regional conflict.”

This is the second time in less than a year that the U.S. has publicly displayed weapons it claims Iran sent to proxies and terrorist groups. Last December, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley chastised Iran after showing off parts of missiles and drones recovered by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, calling the evidence “undeniable.”

Weaponry

Since then, U.S. officials say the collection has grown to include the surface-to-air missile, long-range drones, anti-tank guided missiles, AK-47s, sniper rifles, grenades and even a second Qiam short-range ballistic missile, also known as a Burkan-2.

U.S. defense officials said the ballistic missile was fired into Saudi Arabia by Houthi rebels in broad daylight Dec. 19, just days after Haley’s rebuke of Iran.

U.S. officials also said Tehran is making little effort to hide the origin of the weapons, even though Iran is prohibited from sending weapons outside the country without approval from the U.N. Security Council.

“The conspicuous Farsi markings are Iran’s way of saying they don’t mind being caught violating U.N. resolutions,” Hook said.

Iranian officials have previously denied U.S. allegations of weapons transfer, deriding the display at a hangar at a U.S. military base in Washington as a fabrication when it was unveiled last year.

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