Nikki Haley: Yemen Rebels' Latest Strike 'Bears Hallmarks' of Iranian Attacks

Rebels in Yemen launched a ballistic missile at Riyadh earlier Tuesday; Haley has warned the UN in the past of Tehran's support of the Houthi front in war-torn Yemen

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks during Security Council meeting over the situation in the Middle East on December 18, 2017.
Kena Betancur/AFP

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Tuesday night that the missile that was fired earlier in the day towards Saudi Arabia by a Yemen Houthi group "bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons."

The Saudi-led coalition has said that Saudi air defenses shot down the ballistic missiles, and there were no reports of casualties or damage following the aerial attack.

Haley's remark comes on the heels of a previous statement by her in which she claimed that the U.S. had, for the first time ever, substantive evidence that Tehran supplied Yemen rebels with arms.

Last week, Haley presented to the UN pieces of what she said were Iranian weapons given to the Iran-aligned Houthi militia in Yemen. She described it as conclusive evidence that Iran was violating UN resolutions.

The evidence included charred remnants of what the Pentagon said was an Iranian-made short-range ballistic missile fired from Yemen on November 4 at King Khaled International Airport outside Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, as well as a drone and an anti-tank weapon recovered in Yemen by the Saudis.

Iran denied supplying Houthis with such weaponry, and described the arms procured by the U.S. as "fabricated" evidence.

"These are Iranian made, these are Iranian sent, and these were Iranian given," the U.S. envoy charged at a news conference outside Washington last Thursday.

All of the recovered weapons were provided to the United States by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon said. Saudi-led forces, which back the Yemeni government, have been fighting the Houthis in Yemen's more than two-year-long civil war. 

The unprecedented presentation - which Haley said involved intelligence that had to be declassified - is part of President Donald Trump's new Iran policy, which promises a harder line toward Tehran. That would appear to include new diplomatic push. 

"You will see us build a coalition to really push back against Iran and what they're doing," Haley said, standing in front of what she said were the remnants of the November 4 missile.