Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reaffirmed Iran’s stance on preserving Yemen'sterritorial integrity and support for a political solution to the Yemeni crisis, emphasizing the need for a ceasefire and an end to the Saudi-led war and siege on the impoverished Arab nation.
Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks at a meeting with Mohammed Abdul-Salam, spokesman for Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement and the chief negotiator of Yemen’s National Salvation Government, in the Omani capital of Muscat on Tuesday, where the two sides discussed the latest developments in Yemen.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes any initiative, plan and action that would lead to the lifting of the all-out blockade on Yemen and the establishment of a comprehensive ceasefire and understanding between Yemeni political groups,” he said.
The top Iranian diplomat also hailed the recent simultaneous prisoner exchanges between the warring sides in the war-wracked Arab country.
Abdul-Salam also thanked Iran for its support, saying Yemen will continue its dialog with Saudi Arabia until it reaches an agreement that will ensure the rights of all Yemeni people.
He said that the Yemeni negotiating team has already spoken out on the need for foreign military forces to leave Yemen, receiving war compensation, and assistance in the reconstruction of Yemen.
“Our other demands included ending the aggression, complete lifting of the siege, and payment of the wages of the entire Yemeni employees from the oil and gas revenues,” he added.
Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistical support from the United States and several other Western states.
The objective was to return power to Yemen’s former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.
While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
A UN-mediated ceasefire between Ansarullah and the self-proclaimed Yemeni regime, which is supported by Saudi Arabia, broke down last October six months after it went into effect.
The Islamic Republic has, throughout the course of the conflict, been invariably expressing support for its political settlement.
Earlier this month, a Saudi delegation met with a number of high-ranking officials from the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance movement in Sana’a as part of preparations for talks to reach a final ceasefire agreement to end the eight-year Saudi war.
The visit by Saudi officials to Sana’a was an indication of progress in Oman-mediated talks between the kingdom and the Ansarullah movement, which run in parallel to UN peace efforts.
It was also a sign that regional rifts are easing after Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations in March after years of estrangement.