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Iran hails UN's removal of oil from decaying tanker off Yemen coast

The file photo shows the FSO Safer oil tanker off the coast of Yemen.

The spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry has hailed the United Nations' successful maritime operation to remove oil from the FSO Safer supertanker off Yemen’s Red Sea coast to a replacement vessel, thus averting an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.

The operation, led by the UN Development Program (UNDP), to remove over one million barrels of crude oil from the rusting supertanker safely concluded on Friday. The FSO Safer was abandoned off the Red Sea port of Hudaydah after the Saudi-led war broke out in 2015.

The cargo of oil aboard the supertanker has been pumped onto the replacement vessel MOST Yemen (formerly Nautica) in a ship-to-ship transfer that began on July 25.

In a statement on Monday, Nasser Kan'ani said some three years ago, Iran expressed its readiness to the UN to help transfer the oil.

He added that Iran said it was ready to voluntarily implement the operation under the supervision of the United Nations at Tehran’s expense to prevent an environmental catastrophe.

The Iranian official once again reiterated the country's stance on solving Yemen's human crisis through peaceful approaches.

Kan'ani said, "Iran conducted various negotiations to put an end to the Safer oil tanker woe to prevent a potential environmental, humanitarian, and economic catastrophe for Yemen and the region."

He expressed hope that the recent coordinated operation to settle a humanitarian and environmental crisis could serve as a stepping stone for addressing other humanitarian issues such as the complete removal of the Yemen blockade.

Saudi Arabia initiated a brutal war of aggression against Yemen in March 2015, enlisting the assistance of some of its regional allies, including the United Arab Emirates, as well as massive shipments of advanced weaponry from the US and Western Europe.

The Western governments further extended their political and logistical support to Riyadh in their failed bid to restore power in Yemen to the country’s former Saudi-installed government.

The war further led to the killing of tens of thousands of Yemenis and turned the entire nation into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

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