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Guards chief rejects Trump ‘slander’ that Iran behind Saudi missile

Saudi Arabia’s air defences intercepted a missile on Saturday

By Reuters - Nov 05,2017 - Last updated at Nov 05,2017

DUBAI — The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards denied on Sunday accusations by Donald Trump that Iran was behind the firing of a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia from warring Yemen, rejecting it as one of the US president’s “slanders”. 

Saudi Arabia’s air defences intercepted the missile, bringing it down near the capital Riyadh’s airport on Saturday and it did not cause any casualties, state news agencies reported. 

“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia... and our system knocked the missile out of the air” Trump told reporters on Air Force One en route to Tokyo.

But Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the Revolutionary Guards who are in charge of Iran’s missile programme, said: “Mr Trump has said many baseless things and told many lies and frequently falsely accused Iran and this one is one of those slanders,” Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported. 

“We do not have even the possibility to transfer missiles to Yemen. The missiles belong to them and they have increased their range,” Jafari added.

A Saudi-led coalition has launched thousands of air strikes against Houthi rebels and allied forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh who have fired dozens of missiles into Saudi territory over the course of a Two-and-a-half  year war.

Regional and Western sources have said Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to the Houthi movement, stepping up support for its Shiite ally in the country’s civil war.

 

Iran rejects accusations from Saudi Arabia that it is giving financial and military support to the Houthis, blaming the crisis on Riyadh.

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