Russia's United Nations envoy is ready to oppose sanctions against Iran as the US does not have sufficient evidence to prove it has provided weapons to the Houthis in Yemen, Radio Free Europe reported today.
"Yemen hosts a pile of weapons from the old days, many countries competing to supply weapons to Yemen during the time of [former] President [Ali Abdullah] Saleh, so I cannot give you anything conclusive," Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said. "I am not an expert to judge."
"We only heard some vague talk about some action," Nebenzia said yesterday. "If there is something [proposed] we will see. How can we pass judgment prematurely before we know what it is about?"
The comments were made following a trip to the US to examine evidence on Iran's weapons transfers to the Houthi group.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley took a delegation of 14 Security Council colleagues to review the evidence.
Haley unveiled "evidence" of Iranian weapons in Yemen in December. The Iranian weapons were retrieved by US partners, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of whom support forces in Yemen which stand in opposition to the Houthis and who have been battling against the group since the start of the war in 2014.
Last year, Russia sent the Yemeni bank notes to south Yemen to support the falling currency and to pay government employees. Russia forged a contract to produce 400 billion Yemeni riyals ($1.6 billion) to be printed and transferred to Yemen's central bank last year to push back on liquidity.
Russia has strong ties with internationally recognised Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and offered to mediate the conflict last year in June.