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International humanitarian activists set to sail for Yemen on Iranian ship

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Dubbed Rescue, Iran's ship is set to carry a group of humanitarian aid workers, medical technicians, and peace activists from the US, France, Germany, and Iran, along with a shipment of humanitarian aid, from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province to Yemen. (IRNA photo)

A group of humanitarian aid workers, medical technicians, and peace activists from the US, France, and Germany along with journalists and physicians from Iran is setting sail for war-torn Yemen on Iranian “Rescue” ship.

“We are part of a humanitarian mission being carried out by the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We are attempting to bring medical supplies, flour, and water to the people of Yemen,” read a joint statement released by members of Code Pink Women for Peace, International Action Center, United National AntiWar Committee, and US Veterans for Peace on Sunday.

A large number of physicians and a few journalists from Iran are with us on the ship and we intend to deliver “2,500 tons of medical supplies, foodstuff and tents” to the Hudaydah port on the Red Sea, the capital of the western Yemeni province of Al Hudaydah.

The ship, named Iran Shahed, is preparing to set sail for Yemen from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, in Hormozgan province.

In an exclusive Press TV report, the ship’s captain, Vahid Soltaninejad, said that after leaving Bandar Abbas, they would travel through the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, and into the Gulf of Aden, where they might dock, or travel on to the Hudaydah port.

“Everything on the ship has been carefully checked to make sure that nothing that could be considered a weapon is on board,” the activists' statement says.

An Iranian Red Crescent truck carrying humanitarian aid to be loaded onto Iran Rescue ship in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on May 10, 2015 (IRNA photo)

Earlier in the month, Iranian planes tried to deliver medical aid and were cleared for landing by the Yemeni airports, but were repelled by Saudi fighter jets.

An airport official stands next to a destroyed Felix Airways plane, after it was hit in an airstrike, at the international airport of Yemen's capital, Sana’a, on April 29, 2015. (AFP Photo)

“Blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid is an extreme violation of international law. As our craft propels itself through the Persian Gulf, we are loudly urging no one to interfere with this peaceful humanitarian mission,” the statement read.

Saudi Arabia has unleashed a “horrific bombing campaign” in response to a vast uprising demanding democracy and self-determination in Yemen.

Airport officials and humanitarian workers inspect the damage done by Saudi airstrikes on the tarmac of the international airport of Sana’a on May 5, 2015. (AFP Photo)

“As citizen of the western world, nothing disturbs us more than the fact that the cruise missiles and other weapons being used to terrorize and kill innocent Yemenis, are provided by the United States government,” the statement noted.

Even though our governments utilize “Human Rights” propaganda, they actually “isolate and demonize” certain countries.

“For more than half a century they have been coddling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of the most blatant human rights violators on the planet,” it added.

The Saudi regime, apart from beheading, torturing, and exploiting its own citizens, “represses people throughout the region.”

File photo shows Saudi officials carrying out an execution in public.
Saudi Arabia has  beheaded over 50 people so far this year. Last year, Saudi authorities executed 87 people, compared with 78 in 2013.

“The people of Yemen have long been held down by a corrupt un-democratic regime backed and supported by Saudi Arabia and the United States.”

The people of Yemen have “risen up in revolution” in response to years of humiliation, repression and impoverishment.

"The Ansarullah organization, commonly called the “Houthis” in US media, is at the center of a broad coalition of forces that is writing a new constitution. Popular Committees have sprung up all across the country."

Yemeni soldiers and Houthi fighters stand guard at the entrance of the Presidential Palace following a blast in Sana’a on February 7, 2015. (AFP photo)

Along with ISIL Takfiri militants and al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia is “waging a campaign of violent terrorism” against Yemen.

The US government backs the Saudi regime and its allies in their “abhorrent and immoral” war against Yemen.

“We call for all parties involved to lay down their weapons and enter the process of peaceful negotiations, and continue with the democratic national dialogue that’s taken place over the last three years,” it concluded.

The statement was clinched with three wishes for the people of Yemen, “Let the Hungry Children of Yemen Live!”, “This Illegal, Immoral Blockade Must End!” and “Don’t Block the Rescue Boat!”

On April 28, Saudi Arabia forced an Iranian cargo plane carrying medical aid and foodstuff for people in Yemen to return. The Iranian aircraft, which had earlier received permits from Omani and Yemeni aviation officials to cross into Yemen’s airspace, could not land at the Sana’a International Airport, as Saudi warplanes were violently striking the runway of the airport.

The development came less than a week after Saudi warplanes intercepted another Iranian airplane, carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, and prevented it from entering the Yemeni airspace on April 22.

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 -- without a UN mandate -- in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.  

According to the latest UN figures, the Saudi military campaign has so far claimed the lives of over 1,400 people and injured close to 6,000 people, roughly half of whom have been civilians.

SRK/NT/AS


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