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Iran welcomes UN-brokered truce in Yemen, hopes for permanent end to war

Fighters of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement take part in a military parade marking the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s war on the country, in the capital Sana’a, on March 31, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

Iran has welcomed a two-month ceasefire brokered by the United Nations between the Saudi-led invading coalition and Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, announced on Friday the nationwide truce which coincides with the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. 

Grundberg also said he plans to intensify his work with the parties during the two-month period, with the aim of reaching a permanent ceasefire, addressing urgent economic and humanitarian measures, and resuming the political process.  

In a statement on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh expressed hope that the ceasefire could be a prelude to the complete lifting of the siege on Yemen and the establishment of a permanent truce in line with efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis.

He further stressed Tehran’s support for a political and humanitarian solution to the Yemen conflict.

On the eve of Ramadan, he added, the Islamic Republic hopes to see improved humanitarian conditions as well as a full exchange of prisoners between the warring sides by assigning top priority to humanitarian issues and the continuation of the ceasefire.

Under the truce, which would come into effect on Saturday at 7 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), the warring parties have accepted to halt all offensive military operations, including cross-border attacks.

They have also agreed for fuel ships to enter Hudaydah port and for commercial flights to operate from the airport in the capital, Sana’a, to predetermined destinations in the region. 

The parties have further agreed to meet under the auspices of the UN special envoy to open roads in Ta’izz and other Yemeni provinces.  

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the truce “must be a first step to ending Yemen’s devastating war,” calling on the warring sides to build on the opportunity to “resume an inclusive and comprehensive Yemeni political process.”

Saudi Arabia launched the bloody war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.

The objective was to return to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the Ansarullah movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

The war has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Currently, about 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million population are in need of some form of aid for survival.

Yemeni forces have continued to grow stronger in the face of the Saudi-led invaders, advancing toward strategic areas held by Saudi-led mercenaries, including Ma’rib province, and conducting several rounds of counterstrikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent months.

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