Iran re­jects ‘pro­pa­ganda’

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Tehran

– Tehran yes­ter­day re­jected as “ridicu­lous and base­less” ac­cu­sa­tions by Saudi Ara­bia that Iran is sup­port­ing rebels and block­ing peace ef­forts in Ye­men.

“The Saudi for­eign min­is­ter’s claims that our coun­try has been block­ing peace ef­forts in Ye­men are ridicu­lous and base­less,” for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Bahram Ghasemi said.

“Iran has con­demned the ag­gres­sion [against Ye­men] since the begin­ning ... and will not spare any ef­forts to stop this bloody and de­testable war,” Ghasemi said in a state­ment pub­lished on the min­istry’s web­site.

Saudi Ara­bia leads a mil­i­tary coali­tion back­ing Ye­men’s govern­ment in its fight against the Shi­ite Huthi rebels. Both sides in the Ye­men con­flict have come un­der harsh crit­i­cism for their ne­glect of civil­ian safety, but the Saudi-led coali­tion has, in par­tic­u­lar, been ac­cused of bomb­ing schools, mar­kets and hos­pi­tals.

“Re­peat­ing such false ac­cu­sa­tions will not re­duce the re­spon­si­bil­ity ... of those who have com­mit­ted heinous crimes, par­tic­u­larly mur­der, de­struc­tion of schools and hos­pi­tals and push­ing an in­no­cent pop­u­la­tion to famine,” Ghasemi said.

On Sun­day, Saudi Ara­bia’s top diplo­mat ac­cused Tehran of smug­gling arms to the Huthis, who con­trol north­ern Ye­men.

Adel al-Jubeir said the Ye­meni “mili­tias would not have con­tin­ued op­er­a­tions with­out the sup­port of the great­est spon­sor of ter­ror­ism in the world – the Ira­nian regime”. He ac­cused Iran of “de­stroy­ing all at­tempts to find a so­lu­tion in Ye­men, which has led to the fail­ure of all politi­cal ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the govern­ment and th­ese mili­tias”.

Mul­ti­ple rounds of UN-spon­sored talks have failed to bro­ker a politi­cal set­tle­ment be­tween the Saudi-backed govern­ment of Abedrabbo Man­sour Hadi and the rebels and their al­lies.

Ye­men’s war has claimed more than 8 600 lives since the Saudi-led coali­tion in­ter­vened in 2015 af­ter the rebels over­ran the cap­i­tal Sanaa. – AFP

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