US launches push at UN for action against Iran

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The United States will in the coming days discuss several options for UN Security Council action against Iran such as sanctions for violating the arms embargo on Yemen, Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday.

During a council meeting on Iran, Haley drew a list of possible measures that immediately drew strong reservations from Russia, which has friendly relations with Tehran.

The United States has accused Iran of arming militants in Yemen, providing missiles that have been fired at Saudi Arabia, a key US ally.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia shot down over Riyadh a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi militias, in a strike that Haley said "bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons."

The missile attack on Riyadh should be a "flashing red siren for this council," she said.

Haley suggested strengthening a 2015 resolution endorsing the landmark Iranian nuclear deal or adopting a new measure barring Iran from developing missiles.

Under the current resolution, the council calls on Iran not to undertake any launches of missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, but there is no ban on missile tests.

"We could explore sanctions on Iran in response to clear its violations of the Yemen arms embargo," said Haley, who also suggested targeting Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard for action.

"In the coming days, we will continue to explore these options and others with our colleagues," Haley said.

The Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said it was time to "abandon the language of threats and sanctions" and opt instead for dialogue to "concentrate on broadening cooperation and trust."