Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir accused “Iranian and Hezbollah agents” of launching ballistic missiles at the kingdom on Monday, reserving his country’s right to respond at the “appropriate time and place”.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations following Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Mr Jubeir said “the Iranian ballistic missiles launched from Houthis’ territory in Yemen by Iranian agents and Hezbollah agents is a stark violation of international law and UN resolution 2216”.

Saudi Arabia “reserves the right to respond on this hostile Iranian action at the right time and place”.

In his first comments on the attack, Mr Al Jubeir said his country had captured and shown evidence to the international community that Iran is arming the Houthis with ballistic missiles, and that Tehran’s denials “fly in the face” of what is happening in Yemen.

He accused Tehran of violating the ballistic missile law, and UN resolution 2216, adding that UN efforts are improving to address arms smuggling into Yemen.

The Saudi chief diplomat reaffirmed Riyadh’s support of humanitarian efforts in Yemen, and said his country and the UAE will provide $930 million (Dh3.4bn) to the Yemen humanitarian fund at the UN conference next Tuesday. Separately, Saudi Arabia will also provide an additional $70m as infrastructure help to Yemen, according to Mr Al Jubeir.

In a statement after the two-hour-long meeting, Mr Guterres expressed “his deep gratitude to the crown prince for delivering today on the generous pledge” that was made in January.

The meeting also “discussed the obligations of all parties to the conflict under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the critical need for humanitarian access across the country and for all of Yemen’s ports to remain open to both humanitarian and commercial movement,” the UN statement read.

Mr Guterres and the crown prince “discussed the need for the parties to the conflict to work towards a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue” and “stressed that ending the conflict is the only way to resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis”.

In Washington, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said on Tuesday that “the Iranian support to the Houthis that gives them this capability is clearly being countered”.

He credited “in part the American systems that they (Saudi Arabia) bought and, more importantly right now, to the advisers we brought in to assist them in defence of the kingdom”.

Source » thenational