Russia moves to block British UN resolution to condemn Iran over Yemen arms

Russia moves to block British UN resolution to condemn Iran over Yemen armsNegotiations continued on Sunday over a United Nations Security Council vote slated for Monday morning on a British-drafted resolution that would commit to future action against Tehran and condemn Iran for providing missiles and drones to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. However, over the weekend Russia submitted a rival text, aimed at blocking action against Iran.  Yemen has been engulfed by civil war since 2015, when the Houthis clashed with forces loyal to government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. A multinational coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in March 2015, and Saudi-led airstrikes have been met by sporadic missile attacks from Houthi forces at Saudi Arabia.  This month, independent experts from the UN found that ballistic missiles fired from Yemen into Saudi Arabia in 2017 were made in Iran and introduced into Yemen after the 2015 arms embargo. Tehran has denied sending weapons. A fighter from the separatist Southern Transitional Council on February 25, 2018, at the site of two suicide car bombings  Credit:  AFP The UN embargo was accompanied by a demand that the Houthis, who control the capital, Sana'a, "immediately and unconditionally end violence, withdraw forces from areas they have seized, [and] relinquish all arms" and respect the legitimate government.  Diplomats said Russia could veto the British text, allowing for a vote on its own draft resolution. The Russian version proposes to extend the sanctions against Yemen, but makes no mention of the UN report's findings on Iran and possible action targeting Tehran.  It maintains the UN's findings on the origins of the Houthi missiles are inconclusive.  The US has been vocal in its condemnation of what it has long claimed is Iranian intervention in Yemen. Nikki Haley briefs the media in front of remains of a ballistic missile  Credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas In November, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley showcased recovered missile debris fired from Yemen at a military base in Washington, describing it as "terrifying" and saying the weaponry "might as well have had 'made in Iran' stickers" on it. Since the war began more than 10,000 people have been killed, the World Health Organization has recorded over a million cases of cholera, and 130 children are estimated to die of starvation every day. On Sunday, medical sources said a mother and three of her children have died of their wounds from a double suicide bombing outside the headquarters of an anti-terror unit in Yemen's port city of Aden, bringing the death toll to 12. Saturday's attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

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