UN says unable to verify Iranian weapons

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres quoted the Security Council on Tuesday as “jointly unable to independently” that attacks and missiles used at Saudi oil facilities in September are of Iranian origin.

The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of the September 14 attack. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, and Iran, which is closely linked with the group, denied any involvement.

Guterres said the United Nations investigated attacks on the Saudi oil facility in Afif in May, Abha International Airport in June and August, and Saudi Arabamco oil facilities in Khuras in September, and the debris of the Aabak weapons.

“At this time, it is unable to independently confirm that the cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles used in these attacks are of Iranian origin,” he wrote in the report, seen by the Reuters news agency.

Attacks targeting Abakaiq and Khoris oil plants caused oil prices to rise and shut down supplies by more than 5 percent globally. Saudi Arabia said on 3 October that it had fully restored oil production.

UN experts monitoring the Security Council’s sanctions on Iran and Yemen traveled to Saudi Arabia after the September 14 attack.

The report mentions that the Yemenis’ Houthis “have shown neither occupation, nor the types of drones used in attacks on Aramco facilities” to be in possession.

Guterres reported to the Security Council twice a year on the imposition of an arms embargo on Iran and other sanctions that would come into force after Tehran agreed to a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

The council is scheduled to discuss their report next week.

A separate independent panel also reports twice a year to the Security Council on the implementation of conflict-related sanctions in Yemen, which were imposed in 2014 and 2015. This report is due next month.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Zubir, told reporters in New York in September that his country had consulted its partners on what action to take after the attacks.

He said that the United Nations has sent people to be part of the investigation, other countries have sent experts to be part of the investigation. “We will make the announcements publicly when the investigative team concludes its investigation.”

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