Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in neighboring Yemen in March 2015 to push back the Iran-backed Huthi rebels which controls the capital Sanaa and restore the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
“There have been Iranian markings on those missiles”, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who commands the Air Force’s Central Command in Qatar, told reporters.
The uncovered wreckage of the missile indicated “the role of the Iranian regime in manufacturing”, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said earlier this week, without providing further details.
Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said on Tuesday that the July launch involved an Iranian Qiam-1 missile, a liquid-fuelled, short-range variant of the Scud missile.
“I don’t want to speak to specifically how the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will deal with that, but I would like to think we will be able to find a solution to that problem that would allow diplomatic efforts to achieve success versus going to war”.
The United Nations, along with dozens of other aid groups, are raising alarm at the blockade imposed on Yemen by the the USA -backed, Saudi-led coalition there, saying Thursday it could lead to “the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades”.
“How they got it there is probably something that will continue to be investigated over time”, Harrigian said. French president Emmanuel Macron described the missile fired at Riyadh as “obviously” Iranian during a visit to Abu Dhabi this week. “That in itself provides evidence of where it came from”.
Also driving tensions is the sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who announced in a televised address from Riyadh on Saturday that he would step down because of Iranian influence and aggression in the region.
Harrigian’s remarks appear to corroborate Saudi charges attributing the missile to Iran. Riyadh called on Saudi citizens in Lebanon to leave the country on Thursday amid the growing hostilities with Iran.