UN: Missiles fired at Saudi Arabia have ‘common origin’

Shi'ite Houthi rebel fighters ride a truck in Sanaa, in this file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 December 2017

UN: Missiles fired at Saudi Arabia have ‘common origin’

NEW YORK: UN officials have found that missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi militias appear to have a “common origin,” but they are still investigating US and Saudi claims that Iran supplied them, according to a confidential report.
The officials traveled to Saudi Arabia to examine the debris of missiles fired on July 22 and Nov. 4, wrote UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the fourth biannual report on the implementation of UN sanctions and restrictions on Iran.
They found “that the missiles had similar structural and manufacturing features which suggest a common origin,” said Guterres in the Friday report to the UN Security Council, seen by Reuters.
The report comes amid calls by the US for Iran to be held accountable for violating UN Security Council resolutions by supplying weapons to the Houthis.
The report said the UN officials saw three components, which Saudi authorities said came from the missile fired on Nov. 4. The components “bore the castings of a logo similar to that of the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group” — a UN-blacklisted company.
However, the panel said it “as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier” of the missiles, which were likely shipped to the Houthis in violation of a targeted UN arms embargo imposed on Houthi leaders in April 2015.
Yemeni Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al-Mikhlafi said “real opportunities for a peaceful solution” have decreased after the assassination of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, he stressed that the current war had been imposed on the Yemeni people because of the Iran-backed Houthi coup.


Asylum-seeking Iranian beauty queen still in custody at Manila airport

Updated 17 min 7 sec ago

Asylum-seeking Iranian beauty queen still in custody at Manila airport

  • Bahari said authorities in the Philippines were keeping her in the dark about the status of her asylum case
  • She has consistently said the assault and battery case against her is fake, and Tehran was targeting her for supporting an opposition politician

MANILA: An Iranian beauty queen seeking asylum in the Philippines remains incarcerated at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport almost a week after she was barred from entering the southeast Asian country due to an Interpol red notice.
Bahareh Zare Bahari, Iran’s representative to the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant, was arrested at the airport last Thursday following a charge against her for an assault and battery case allegedly committed in Dagupan City in the Philippines. Bahari denies any wrongdoing. 
Speaking to Arab News by telephone on Wednesday, Bahari said authorities in the Philippines were keeping her in the dark about the status of her asylum case.
“Filipino authorities are not updating me. They said they sent a letter to Interpol in Iran to get an answer from them. So they told me I have to wait until Iran Interpol answers,” she said. 
Bahari also said she was not feeling well and had been examined by a doctor at the airport on Tuesday. She did not provide details of her ailment.
Bahari has consistently said the assault and battery case against her is fake, and Tehran was targeting her for supporting an opposition politician and violating traditional values by taking part in beauty pageants and speaking for women’s rights.
In January, she appeared at a pageant carrying a picture of Reza Pahlavi, an Iranian opposition leader and founder of the National Council of Iran.
“I have used his photo in a beauty pageant and the Iranian government are angry with me,” Bahari said, adding: “If I am deported to Iran, they will give me at least 25 years in jail, if they do not kill me.”
Tehran has not commented on Bahari’s statements. 
Bahari said last week that she had traveled to the Philippines after a vacation in Dubai, where she did not encounter any problems with immigration authorities, adding that she was surprised when she was intercepted at the airport in Manila and informed that she was on an Interpol list.
Bahari said her lawyer “had checked all records in the Philippines and with Interpol,” but there was no record against her.
The beauty queen has denied committing any crimes in Iran, or in the Philippines where she has been studying dentistry since 2014.
The Philippines Department of Justice (DoJ) Undersecretary and spokesperson Mark Perete said in a statement last week that Bahari remained in custody at the airport and “could not be sent back to Iran because she has filed an application for asylum.”
The DoJ would resolve her asylum application “in due time,” Perete added.