Iran accuses US of presenting fabricated evidence of Houthi missiles

Iran accuses US of presenting fabricated evidence of Houthi missiles
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Iran's foreign minister on Tuesday suggested that Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTreasury: US deficit tops trillion in 11 months South Carolina GOP appears to violate own rules in canceling primary for Trump Politico's Johnson to become Free Beacon's new editor-in-chief MORE, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was duped into presenting false evidence that Tehran supplied missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that fragments recovered from a missile fired by Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia last year bore markings of the Standard Institute of Iran — not Iran's military industry.

The Standard Institute of Iran grades consumer goods, Zarif said, not weapons. 

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"It’s a sign of quality," Zarif told the AP. "When people want to buy it, they look at whether it’s been tested by the Standard Institute of Iran that your cheese puffs are good, your cheese puffs will not give you a stomach ache."

"I mean, nobody will put the logo of the Standard Institute of Iran on a piece of missile," he added. 

Zarif said he was not suggesting that Haley had fabricated evidence that Iran supplied missiles to the Houthis, but claimed that the evidence she presented during a news conference in December was fake.

"I’m not saying Ambassador Haley is fabricating, but somebody is fabricating the evidence she is showing," he said.

The U.S. has accused Iran of supplying weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, including ballistic missiles. 

In a news conference in December, Haley presented what she called "undeniable" evidence that Iran had manufactured missiles fired into Saudi Arabia, including debris from a short-range ballistic missile, an antitank guided missile, an unmanned aerial vehicle and exploding boat technology that have markings and features indicating origins in Iran.

The evidence that Haley presented was turned over to the U.S. by Saudi Arabia and the United Arabi Emirates — both regional opponents of Iran.

Iran's U.N. mission categorically denied Haley's allegations, calling them "irresponsible, provocative and destructive," and accusing the U.S. of fabricating evidence that Iran was behind missile sales to the Houthis.