Iran says won’t allow Yemen siege


TEHRAN: A senior Iranian diplomat says Tehran will press ahead with its efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Yemen and will not allow the war-wracked country to remain under siege like the Gaza Strip.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs, told Lebanon’s al-Manar television that Iran will not allow a Saudi blockade of Yemen.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the Palestinian territory from the outside world, has led to economic and humanitarian crises in the densely-populated enclave.

The senior diplomat also lashed out at Saudi Arabia for waging a war against the Muslim country of Yemen.

Stressing that Iran strongly supports the Yemeni nation, Amir-Abdollahian also threw the Islamic Republic’s weight behind an intra-Yemeni dialog aimed at solving the crisis in the Arab country.

Evidence at hand shows that terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have links to certain intelligence services in the region, Amir-Abdollahian said.

Saudi Arabia is continuing its brutal airstrikes against Yemen despite the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the impoverished country.

Riyadh launched its military aggression against the Saudi neighbor on March 26 – without a United Nations mandate – in a bid to undermine Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Saudis.

Saudi Arabia has also been blocking aid to Yemen.

Last month, it prevented two Iranian civilian planes from delivering medical aid and foodstuff to the Yemeni people.

On Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the medical charity group, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) expressed “extreme” concern about the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen’s lifelines and its obstruction of aid deliveries to the impoverished nation.

The UN has also called for a “safe and reliable” access to Yemen’s Sana’a International Airport for the delivery of aid.


Meanwhile an Iranian destroyer warned off a US warship and a couple of reconnaissance aircraft in the strategic Gulf of Aden.

On Monday, two US P-3C Orion maritime surveillance planes and a USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) destroyer immediately redirected their routes after the Iranian destroyer, Alborz 72, warned them against coming within the standard five-mile distance of the Iranian Navy’s 34th fleet, IRIB reported.

“We are duty-bound to monitor any foreign warships in international waters as well as anything that would threaten Iran’s national interests,” said the commander of the 34th fleet, Captain Mostafa Tajeddini.

Captain Tajeddini said Iran’s presence in high seas is in line with international law.

The 34th naval fleet is currently sailing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, to provide security for Iranian and international merchant vessels.

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