Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations, is hopeful that the Security Council will back a resolution expressing concern that Iran is supplying rockets to Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The passage of a UN resolution holding Iran to account for supplying missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen will be critical in stopping the proliferation of such weapons to other extremist groups in the region, the UAE Ambassador to the UN says.
An effort led by Britain to win Security Council backing for renewed sanctions related to the war in Yemen for another year includes condemnation of Iran for breaching an arms embargo on the country, which has been hit by a civil war since 2015.
Russia has pushed back against the draft resolution but it is hoped that it could be passed today.
“The UAE supports a proposed resolution to renew sanctions against those fuelling the conflict in Yemen, which has been put forward by the UK,” Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, told The National in an interview in Abu Dhabi.
“The draft resolution expresses concern about Iran supplying missiles to the Houthis, which we think is essential. Countries who continue to violate UN Security Council resolutions need to be held accountable, otherwise their actions will continue and we will see the ongoing proliferation of missile technology to the Houthis and to other groups in the region.”
The Houthis have fired missiles at Saudi Arabia recently, and last week, UAE air defences shot down a ballistic missile fired by rebels in Yemen's south-eastern port city of Mocha.
An Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia, of which the UAE is a key member, has been supporting the internationally recognised government in its fight against the Iranian-backed Houthis.
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, said last week that it was time for the Security Council to act.
Ms Nusseibeh said: “The attacks on Saudi Arabia, the attempted attacks in the region and the ongoing efforts to destabilise Yemen by arming the Houthis are unacceptable and have to be condemned by the international community.
“Furthermore, the political process needs to be re-energised. We look forward to working with the new UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his office.
“His predecessor, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has done very important work under incredibly difficult circumstances and we believe that this has produced elements for a political roadmap.
“The UAE and other members of the Coalition support the UN Envoy’s mandate [and the Secretary General] in applying pressure on the Houthis to come to the negotiating table, and denouncing their acts of violence.