SHAFAQNA – The Iranian foreign minister has called on Saudi Arabia to immediately cease its military aggression against Yemen.
“We demand an immediate stop to the Saudi military operations in Yemen,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network on Thursday.
Zarif said the military operations constitute a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty and will only lead to bloodshed.
“We will spare no effort to contain the crisis in Yemen,” Zarif said.
He pointed out that the act of aggression will benefit no country, adding that the military campaign will further escalate the tensions in the region.
The Iranian foreign minister also urged the regional and western countries to avoid playing into the hands of terrorists such as al-Qaeda and ISIL in Yemen.
Speaking to Press TV on the situation in Yemen, he said, “We believe that the situation in Yemen is a very dangerous situation and we advise against any escalation because we believe that any interference in Yemen will simply lead to further loss of human life as it has since this morning.
Stressing the need for promoting dialog in the Arab country, he said, “We believe that there is an urgent need for dialog, for understanding among the Yemenis without external interference and that’s what we hope we get.”
Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham also strongly condemned the Saudi military campaign against members of the Ansarullah movement in neighboring Yemen, stressing that the move will create an insecure atmosphere in the Middle East.
“Resorting to military actions against Yemen, which is already engaged in internal conflict and fighting terrorism, will further complicate the situation, spread the extent of the crisis and squander opportunities to peacefully resolve internal disputes in Yemen,” Afkham said.
She also called for the immediate implementation of agreements struck between Yemeni factions, and a quick cessation of Saudi air strikes and operations against Yemen and its nation.
Afkham further noted that the ongoing onslaught against Yemen will have no outcome other than the spread of terrorism and extremism, and will undermine security in the Middle East.
Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Parliament Alaeddin Boroujerdi also denounced the Saudi attacks against Yemen, stating that such an action would eventually backfire.
“The fact that Saudi Arabia has waged a new war in the region attests to its disregard and irresponsibility towards issues in the Muslim world. The outcomes of this crisis will boomerang on Saudi Arabia as war is not confined to the borders of one particular region,” Boroujerdi pointed out.
He also criticized the United States for fomenting instability in the Middle East, stating that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies have had Washington’s carte blanche in order to launch attacks against Yemen.
The ongoing Saudi air strikes on Yemen have so far claimed the lives of 13 civilians with more deaths feared, according to Yemeni sources.
“Thirteen civilians, including women and children, were killed in the Saudi raids overnight,” a civil defense source said on Thursday.
According to witnesses, residents are helping civil defense authorities in the search for any more victims under the rubble of houses damaged in the air raids.
Following the attacks, forces loyal to fugitive Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi seized control of the international airport in the southern port city of Aden.
Troops of the 39th Armored Brigade, who are allied to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, had earlier seized the facility.
The Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia has deployed “100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units” for the military campaign in Yemen.
Meanwhile, Yemeni sources say parachutists of Saudi forces have already landed in Aden, located approximately 420 kilometers (260 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a.