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Iran medics slam 'Saudi blackmail of UN over Yemen war'

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)
Displaced children play near their family’s tent at a camp for internally-displaced people on the outskirts of Sana’a, Yemen, June 8, 2016. ©AP

Iran’s Academy of Medical Sciences has condemned the United Nations’ recent decision to cave in to pressure by Saudi Arabia over the blacklisting of the Riyadh regime for killing children in Yemen.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, President of the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences Seyed Alireza Marandi denounced the world body’s silence on the Saudi atrocities against Yemen's civilian population.

“The United Nations was set up explicitly and primarily to ensure peace and stability. Instead, it has become an organization that is enabling and prolonging war,” the letter said.

Earlier this month, the UN blacklisted Saudi Arabia after concluding in a report that Riyadh was responsible for 60 percent of the 785 deaths of children in Yemen last year.

A few days later, however, the world body announced that Saudi Arabia would be scratched from the list, pending a joint review with the kingdom. 

The UN chief said he temporarily removed Saudi Arabia from the blacklist because Saudi Arabia's supporters threatened to stop funding many UN programs.

The letter by the Iranian medics described the blacklisting “a very small but positive move” more than one year after the beginning of the “illegal” Saudi campaign, adding that the move was welcomed by the international community, except the United States and other Saudi allies.

“However, to our utter shock and amazement, less than a week after the listing, the Saudi regime's name was removed from the list. Most tragic of all was your personal admission that this decision was made after several members threatened to end their donations to the United Nations,” the letter says.

A Yemeni boy carries a ladder in front of buildings that were damaged by Saudi airstrikes in the Old City of Sana'a on March 23, 2016. ©AFP

The medics further called on the UN to reverse its decision and take steps to force the Al Saud regime to end its "criminal war" on Yemen “instead of bending to the blackmail of a few rogue nations.”

They also criticized the Saudi blockade on the impoverished country, which prevents medical and food supplies from reaching millions of Yemeni people.

“We believe that the United Nations belongs to all nations, but by your own admission, today wealth and power determine the decision making process in this organization. ... It seems that the United Nations has practically admitted the loss of any moral legitimacy," the letter adds.

The letter is the second such text sent by the Iranian medics to the UN chief over the Saudi war on Yemen.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to reinstate former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured in the Saudi offensive.

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