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26 Nov, 2017 14:35

‘US complicit, responsible for Saudi crimes in Yemen’ – Tehran

‘US complicit, responsible for Saudi crimes in Yemen’ – Tehran

Iranian Foreign Ministry has accused the US of being “complicit, and responsible for” Saudi Arabia’s “crimes against Yemen.” At the same time, Washington’s allegations that Tehran militarily supports the Houthi rebels were summarily dismissed.

Tehran responded to a statement issued by the White House Friday, which accused Iran of violating UN Security Council resolutions and using the “grave humanitarian crisis in Yemen to advance its regional ambitions.” The US also reiterated its support for Saudi Arabia and its allies against alleged Iranian “aggression and blatant violations of international law,” while praising Saudi Arabia for reopening the Hudaydah port and Sanaa International Airport in Yemen for UN humanitarian aid.

The White House’s statement “overtly proves the United States’ complicity in, and responsibility towards Saudi Arabia’s crimes against Yemen,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Sunday, firmly rejecting the US accusations. Such statements are only designed to whitewash the real crimes committed in Yemen by the Saudi Arabia and its allies, he added.

“In a politically motivated and targeted move, and by leveling utterly baseless and false accusations against Iran, the US is trying, as always, to deflect the attention of people and the international community from the inhumane crimes committed by the coalition of aggressors against Yemen, and instead of asking Saudi Arabia to put an end to its bombardment of civilian targets and killing innocent and defenseless people in Yemen, openly says it supports this country in continuing its heinous crimes,” Qassemi said.

The spokesman once again rejected the accusations of alleged military support for the Houthi rebels, stating that Iran only supports the resistance against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen through political and humanitarian means. “As the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced, it welcomes any initiative that would [help] send humanitarian aid to Yemen and alleviate the sufferings of the people of this country,” the spokesman stressed.

“We have announced, time and again, and on different occasions that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no military links with Yemen, and that the country’s defense and missile capabilities are completely a domestic issue which is related to that country only,” Qassemi said. “The Islamic Republic of Iran spares no effort to echo to all people and circles around the world the Yemeni people’s chants of justice-seeking and of expressing their [being subject to] oppression.”

The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a military campaign against the Houthi rebels and troops loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate ousted leader Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and prevent the rebels from taking over the whole country. Over 5,000 civilians have been killed and nearly 9,000 people have been injured in the fighting, according to the latest UN figures. The strict naval and aerial blockade, imposed on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition has drastically worsened the humanitarian situation in the country.

At least 17 million Yemenis are “food insecure,” according to the UN, with hundreds of thousands children malnourished. The country is also dealing with a major cholera outbreak, with some 900,000 suspected cases registered as of early November.