Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen is doomed to failure, and that the kingdom will not be able to impose its will on the Yemeni people through negotiations either.
“Saudi Arabia cannot either achieve military victory in Yemen or obtain what it has failed through military means via negotiations,” Zarif told Lebanon's al-Manar television network on Sunday.
He recalled how the kingdom estimated in the beginning of the war that it would come out victorious within just three weeks. Six years have passed without Riyadh being able to achieve that goal, Zarif added.
Riyadh will not be able to get its own way through talks either, the foreign minister said and invited the Persian Gulf’s littoral states to sit down for talks and address the regional affairs together.
The Islamic Republic wants to see calm and security restored in Yemen, he said.
Back in 2016, Zarif forwarded Iran’s proposal for the return of peace to Yemen. The proposal called for the cessation of the Saudi-led attacks, the removal of a Saudi-led siege, the transfer of humanitarian supplies to Yemen, and the holding of intra-Yemeni talks.
Earlier in February, United Nations Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths traveled to Tehran to consult with Iranian officials about the situation in the war-wracked country and a potential resolution of the conflict.
The kingdom led its allies into the war in March 2015 to restore power to Yemen’s former pro-Riyadh officials who had fled the country amid a power struggle and refused to stay behind to negotiate a solution.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died in the course of the war and the country has been pushed close to the brink of outright famine.
The Yemeni defense forces comprising the Army and Popular Committees, though, have continued resisting the aggressors.
Victory close in Yemen’s Ma’rib
On Sunday, Abdullah al-Hakim, chief of the Yemeni Army’s military intelligence, said popular forces are about to liberate the west-central province of Ma’rib as militants serving the Saudi-led coalition on the ground are laying down their arms in the face of advancing Yemeni forces.
“Monumental victories and great advances have been made in all military areas,” he said, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.
The mercenaries have no other choice than to give up their arms, he added.
Mercenaries urged to seize on amnesty
Ahmed al-Qane'a, a Yemeni official for reconciliation and national dialogue, said a general amnesty that has been announced by San’a for the mercenaries to cease hostilities and be granted clemency in return, is still in place.
“Each day, tens, hundreds, and at times, battalions and divisions of mercenaries come back to rejoin the nation,” he said.
Al-Hakim warned that Yemen's enemies should not be allowed to block the process of the mercenaries’ defection.
Amid reports of the mercenaries’ mass defection, Saudi warplanes were reported by al-Masirah to have bombarded Ma’rib’s Sirwah and Medghal Districts on Monday six times.
Saudi Arabia also struck Yemen’s northwestern al-Jawf and Sa’ada Provinces, killing one civilian.
The kingdom was reported to have violated a ceasefire announced in Yemen’s western lifeline port city of al-Hudaydah as many as 209 times.