UN recieves Saudi Arabia's complaint of Iranian arms smuggling

UN recieves Saudi Arabia's complaint of Iranian arms smuggling
The latest spat in the ongoing regional rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran has seen the Sunni kingdom urging UN action over alleged Iranian arms smuggling to Houthis in Yemen.
2 min read
16 September, 2016
Iran is widely accused of funding and backing Yemen's Houthi rebels [AFP]

Saudi Arabia has urged the UN to lay pressure on its regional rival to stop smuggling weapons to Houthi rebels which it is fighting in Yemen.

Riyadh wrote to the United Nations Security Council, listing alleged "violations" allegedly committed by Houthis, including several cross-border attacks that have left dozens of Saudi civilians dead in recent months.

The kingdom has long alleged the rebels are funded and backed by its regional rival, Iran, at a time when tensions continue to rise between the two nations.

"On August 31, Houthi rebel militias and their supporters fired a ballistic missile of the type 'ZilZal-3' ["Earthquake-3"] at the city of Najran, in the south of Saudi Arabia. Rocket 'ZilZal-3' is a short range ballistic missile produced in Iran," the letter said.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations, who wrote the letter, said weapons used by the rebels in Yemen violate UN resolution 2216 and generate a threat to Yemen, the kingdom and the region as a whole.

"We further urge the Security Council to take all necessary measures to demand that Iran complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions, cease and desist from any illegal actions in Yemen," Mouallimi added.

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab coalition battling the Houthi rebels in Yemen - which it believes is funded and backed by Iran - in an attempt to push back the rebels from cities they overran in September 2014.

The kingdom is also attempting to reinstate the internationally recognised government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi - a key ally of neighbouring royals.