Saudi-led airstrikes in Ye­men a ‘mis­take’: Iran’s Rouhani


Iran’s pres­i­dent on Thurs­day warned Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies that their airstrikes’ cam­paign in Ye­men is a “mis­take” and called for a halt to the strikes tar­get­ing the Iran-backed Shi­ite rebels who have seized much of the im­pov­er­ished Ara­bian Penin­sula coun­try.

For two weeks now, the Saudi-led coali­tion has failed to stop the power grab by the Houthi rebels, whose ad­vance has forced Pres­i­dent Abed Rabbo Man­sour Hadi to flee the coun­try. Both Tehran and the rebels deny that Iran is arm­ing them.

The airstrikes against the Houthis and their al­lies, in­clud­ing loy­al­ists of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ali Ab­dul­lah Saleh, have also failed to stop the rebels’ ad­vance on Aden, Ye­men’s sec­ond-largest city, which was de­clared a pro­vi­sional cap­i­tal by Hadi be­fore he fled to Saudi Ara­bia.

In his speech in Tehran, Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani urged for a cease-fire in Ye­men to al­low for broad-based talks on re­solv­ing the cri­sis.

“To the coun­tries in the re­gion, I say, let’s adopt the spirit of brotherhood, let’s re­spect each other and other na­tions. A na­tion does not give in through bomb­ing,” said Rouhani. “Do not kill in­no­cent chil­dren. Let’s think about an end to the war, about cease-fire and hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance to the suf­fer­ing peo­ple of Ye­men.”

He said a cam­paign of airstrikes and bom­bard­ment is “wrong,” cit­ing ex­am­ples of Syria and Iraq, where a U.S.led coali­tion is tar­get­ing Is­lamic State mil­i­tants.

“You will learn, not later but soon, that you are mak­ing mis­take in Ye­men, too,” Rouhani said, with­out nam­ing any sin­gle coun­try.

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