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January 26, 2018 3:12 pm

American UN Envoy Nikki Haley to Press Iran Missile Threat on Security Council Delegation Visit to Washington

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US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley briefs the media in front of remains of Iranian “Qiam” ballistic missile at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC, Dec.14, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Yuri Gripas.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is to head a delegation of Security Council diplomats visiting Washington, DC on Monday, as part of a continued push by the Trump administration to emphasize its concerns about Iran’s supply of missiles to proxies in the Middle East.

The US Mission to the UN said on Friday that Haley would lead the diplomats on a tour of the Iranian weaponry supplied to the Shi’a Islamist Houthi militias in Yemen. The weapons were first unveiled in December by the Pentagon at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, near the nation’s capital.

The diplomats will also hold a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday, before accompanying National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibition on crimes against humanity committed during the war in Syria.

The weapons that the diplomats will view were originally provided to the US by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi-led forces, which back the Yemeni government, have been fighting the Shi’a Houthi movement in Yemen’s civil war, now entering its third year.

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“These are Iranian made, these are Iranian sent, and these were Iranian given,” Haley said at the time of the weapons’ unveiling, which included the remains of a Qiam-1 ballistic missile built by the Tehran regime using a North Korean prototype.

Meanwhile, a prominent Washington, DC-based think tank calculated this week that Iran had conducted 23 ballistic missile launches since the announcement of the JCPOA — the nuclear deal agreed to by six world powers and Iran — in July 2015.

The launches were significant, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) argued in a new policy memorandum, because they showed Iran’s continued determination to  assemble a missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead.

“[F]or those concerned with Iran’s nuclear-capable and conventional missile force, more data on Iran’s missile tests will aid in devising policies that can impede the growth, modernization, lethality, and readiness of that force,” the FDD memorandum said.

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