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Iran rejects West's accusations as baseless

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New York, Feb 15, IRNA -- Iranian Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaei dismissed West's accusations about Tehran’s dispatching of weapons to Yemen and Somalia as baseless and politically motivated propaganda.

He made the remarks in two separate letters to the rotating president of the UN Security Council on Thursday.

“These accusations are baseless, undocumented and unfounded, primary inspections of the intercepted ship in the Yemeni international waters showed that it has been carrying the flag of Panama and in the meantime, none of its crew were Iranian citizens.”

Pointing to Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with the UN Security Council for clarifying the issue, Khazaei added that Tehran expects this UN body to probe such claims and correct and compensate for its unjust approach in accusing Iran.

Additionally, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast categorically have also denied the accusations about arms shipment to Yemen as baseless, and reiterated that Tehran respects the regional stability and security.

Mehman-Parast's remarks came after several Yemeni officials, including the country's Interior Minister Abdel-Qader Kahtan, and the Saudi-led Yemeni media claimed that an Iranian ship seized by the Yemeni military contained weapons destined for Yemen's Houthi Community in the North of the country or as other Yemeni officials claimed for rebels in Somalia fighting the central government.

'We have announced several times that we prioritize the region's stability and security, and underline the rights and national sovereignty of (other) countries,' the Iranian diplomat said.

Last week, Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi accused Iran of smuggling arms into the Arab country. The Yemeni government asked the United Nations to probe a seized ship it claims contained Iran-made weapons.

Iranian officials on different occasions have strongly refuted Yemeni officials' allegations, saying that Iran attaches importance to maintaining security and stability of regional countries, especially Yemen.

Last week, a Yemeni daily disclosed that the arms cargo confiscated off the country's coasts was headed for the rebel groups in Syria, dismissing the western media allegations that the weapons cargo was sent to the Yemeni rebels by Iran.

Yemen's Aloulaye daily quoted informed sources as saying that the shipment of weapons and explosives which was intercepted off Yemen's coasts was sent from Ukraine and planned to be transferred to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel group.

The report said the ship started its voyage from Ukraine and was en route to Syria when it entered Yemen's water.

The sources added on the condition of anonymity that the ship has entered Yemeni waters after receiving an official permission from a government department in Yemen and without the knowledge of the country's Defense Ministry which is the sole authority in charge of such permissions.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80544988

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