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Iran dismisses military solution to Yemen crisis, urges talks

15 April 2015 13:10


Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham says the crisis in Yemen cannot be settled militarily.

Speaking at her weekly press conference in Tehran on Wednesday, Afkham stressed that the conflict in the Arab country must be resolved through talks.

Yemen has been targeted by Saudi airstrikes since March 26 in a campaign aimed at restoring power to the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Saudi Arabia’s military aggression against the impoverished Arab country, which is being carried out without a United Nations mandate, has claimed the lives of almost 2,600 people so far.

Afkham criticized a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Yemen, saying it fell short of condemning attacks on civilians as well as the destruction of the Arab country’s infrastructure.

She said that talks on the conflict in Yemen should involve all parties to the crisis, adding that such negotiations should lead to the formation of a national government.

People flee after a Saudi airstrike in Sana’a, Yemen, on April 8, 2015. ©AP
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution, calling on the Houthis, who are part of the Popular Committees advancing in Yemen, to withdraw from areas they have seized, including the capital, Sana’a.

The resolution called for an immediate ceasefire and access to humanitarian aid to Yemeni people, but fell short of condemning Saudi airstrikes.

Iran’s nuclear talks

Afkham said that Iran and the P5+1 group would resume nuclear talks at the deputy-level next week, adding that experts from the two sides will also attend the negotiations.

She said Iran’s negotiating team seeks to ensure the dignity of the Iranian nation as well as the country’s access to peaceful nuclear technology.

She also stressed that Iran would not agree to a final deal over its nuclear program at any price.

Saudi officials’ abuse of two teens

Afkham said that Iran has been pursuing the sexual abuse of two teenage Iranian pilgrims by Saudi officers at Jeddah airport.

Iran has called on Saudi Arabia to bring the criminals to justice according to the kingdom’s rules, Afkham said, adding that the Saudi interior ministry has promised to severely punish the culprits based on the Arab country’s law. Afkham expressed hope that a verdict would be immediately issued against the culprits.

While performing body search on passengers at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi officers reportedly took two Iranian teenagers, aged 14 and 15, away, citing suspicion. The officers, who had sounded off the alarm at the gate, subjected the teenagers to indecent acts.

Following the incident, Iran summoned the Saudi chargé d’affaires and submitted a note of complaint to the Saudi government.

Saudi Arabia says it has arrested the two officers who sexually harassed the teenagers.

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