Houthi rebels
© AP Photo/ Hani Mohammed
While the Saudi-led coalition and Washington have accused Iran of the Yemeni rebel missile attack targeting King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, Tehran has strongly denied the claims.

On November 10, a panel appointed by the UN Security Council sent a confidential letter to diplomats, which states that it has seen no proof of Saudi Arabia's claims that Iran was responsible for the recent missile attack by the Yemeni Houthi rebels targeting Riyadh, the US-based investigative website The Intercept reported on Friday.

According to the members of the panel, the tightening of Yemen's blockade by the Saudi-led coalition and the invocation by Saudi Arabia of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216, which allows UN member states to take measures to prevent the transfer of military goods to Houthis, is allegedly an attempt to impede the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemeni civilians. However, Riyadh insists that the closure of all Yemeni ground, air and sea ports by the Saudi-led coalition forces is temporary and will not interfere with food deliveries to the country.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran, its key rival in the region, of supplying Yemeni Houthi rebels with short-range ballistic missiles, one of which was intercepted by the Saudi Air Force in midair over northern Riyadh on November 4, in a claim described by Tehran as "contrary to reality."

Top US officials, including US President Donald Trump, have also blamed Iran for the Houthis' attack, with Envoy to the UN Nikky Haley calling for Tehran to be held accountable for a ballistic missile launched by Yemeni rebels targeting Saudi Arabia in July 2017, as it was allegedly anโ€Ž Iranian Qiam.

While Tehran has made no secret of its political support for the Shiite movement, it has repeatedly denied rumors of arming the Yemeni rebels, with Iranian President Rouhani stating that the Houthis' missile launch at Saudi Arabia's capital was a "reaction to aggression," adding that Riyadh's belief in the Islamic Republic being its "enemy" is a "strategic mistake."

Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government and Houthi rebels backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2015, with a coalition backed by Saudi Arabia launching an aerial operation in the country at the request of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.