SHAFAQNA – A senior Iranian official has criticized the United Nations for failing to play an active role in settling the crisis in Yemen, saying Iran would dispatch more humanitarian aid to people in the war-wracked country as soon as possible.
“In line with its humanitarian and moral duty and regional undertakings, the Islamic Republic of Iran will press ahead with its responsible measures to immediately send humanitarian aid via sea and air in coordination with the United Nations,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a phone conversation with the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed on Tuesday.
He added that Tehran supports intra-Yemeni dialog under the UN supervision and believes that any peace talks without the participation of influential parties would fail to settle the crisis and would harm national talks between various parties and groups in the impoverished Arab state.
The UN is preparing to hold peace negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 28 in a bid to discuss ways to end the Saudi aggression against Yemen.
Amir-Abdollahian urged international relief organizations to send medical aid to people in war-hit Yemen, saying, “The United Nations is required to play a more active role in helping the oppressed and defenseless Yemeni people.”
He said Saudi Arabia repeatedly violated a five-day ceasefire in Yemen and that the Al Saud’s brutal airstrikes have caused a humanitarian catastrophe there.
The Iranian official expressed regret that no effective measure has been adopted during the temporary truce in Yemen to help people, saying, “Many injured people, particularly children and women, are exposed to direct danger because they cannot be dispatched to different countries and due to severe shortage of medicine and medical equipment.”
An Iranian cargo vessel, carrying 2,500 tons of humanitarian supplies to Yemen, is scheduled to arrive in the western Yemeni port city of Hudaydah on May 21. The ship, dubbed Nejat (Rescue), set sail from Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas on May 11.
Saudi Arabia had earlier blocked Iranian aid deliveries to Yemen. Last month, it prevented two Iranian civilian planes from delivering medical aid and foodstuff to the impoverished people.
The UN envoy, for his part, stressed the importance of speeding up the dispatch of relief aid to the Yemeni people.
He added that the UN is making efforts to establish a lasting truce in Yemen and would firmly proceed with its bids to send aid to the Yemenis as soon as possible.
Sheikh Ahmed said he would make a visit to Iran in the near future to hold consultations with Iranian officials and find political approaches to end the Yemeni war.
Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which currently controls the capital, Sana’a, and major provinces, and to restore power to Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The United Nations says since March 19, over 1,800 people have been killed and 7,330 injured due to the conflict in Yemen, which was exacerbated by the Saudi airstrikes.
Sources – Press TV