Mattis: Iran Working to Destabilize Middle East

Mattis: Iran Working to Destabilize Middle East

Haley has also claimed that missiles fired on November 4 from Yemen toward an airport in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, were made in Iran.

On Thursday, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley appeared standing before parts of a ballistic missile that she claimed Iran delivered to Houthis, which was sacked at Saudi Arabia's Riyadh airport last month.

File image of United States Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

"It's the reason Ambassador Haley was there and not one of our generals", he told Pentagon reporters. Are we sure we're not letting ourselves get dragged into an ill-advised Saudi scheme for a decisive confrontation with their regional rival?

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday dismissed as "baseless" the USA allegations that Tehran supplies missiles to Yemeni Shiite Houthis, Press TV reported. Nonetheless, the conspiracy theory that the Saudis made the whole thing up will find an audience in the Middle East's already-weaponized fake news environment.

"This purportedly evidence, put on public display today, is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier", reported The Times of Israel, citing Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran's mission to the UN. The missile didn't hit the airport, but she said that if it had, the missile potentially could have killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

But what really makes Haley's speech reminiscent of Powell's is that the latter was a crucial step towards war, whereas that the former, well, could be.

The US said on Thursday that it has "undeniable" evidence that Tehran is violating global law and unveiled segments of missiles launched at Saudi Arabia from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.

Asked what worldwide agreements Iran was violating, Ms. Haley cited U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. The move sparked worldwide condemnation and led to protests around the world, especially in Arab countries. It also prohibits Iran from transferring weapons capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

"The U.S. levels unfounded accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran by showing a piece of metal to hide its presence in the region and the actions it takes, most of which can be considered as war crimes", he explained. Even France's foreign minister says Iran is trying to create an "axis" of influence from its western border to the Mediterranean Sea.