Iran vows response to Saudi blocking of aid plane to Yemen
A senior Iranian official says Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Yemen and its prevention of the delivery of the Islamic Republic’s humanitarian aid to the war-wracked country will not go unanswered.
“We consider all options for helping the Yemeni people and immediate dispatch of humanitarian aid and transfer of the injured,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday.
Noting that Saudi Arabia has no right to decide for regional countries, he added that Riyadh’s military intervention in Bahrain has left hundreds of people dead and injured, and created instability and a wide gap between the government and nation in the Persian Gulf state.
“The continuation of Saudi aggression against Yemen will have no outcome but insecurity for Saudi Arabia and for the region,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
The Iranian official added that Saudi Arabia was expected to take steps to “improve sustainable security in the region” but it has become the main cause of regional instability.
He expressed hope that Riyadh would reconsider its wrong approaches and play a constructive role in the region, noting, “Tehran has always supported dialog between the two countries” through diplomatic channels.
Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks came after Saudi fighter jets intercepted an Iranian airplane carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen and prevented it from entering the Yemeni airspace on Thursday.
Following Riyadh’s interception of the Iranian aid flight, Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned Saudi Arabia’s chargé d’affaires in Tehran to express its protest over the move.
An Iranian Foreign Ministry official said the Saudi move came after the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) had obtained the necessary permission to fly in the Oman-Yemen route and send a plane in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in order to fly Yemeni patients back to Iran and distribute medical aid to the injured in the impoverished Arab country.
Saudi Arabia launched its air campaign against Yemen on March 26 – without a United Nations mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi movement’s Ansarullah fighters and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
On April 21, Riyadh announced the end of the first phase of its unlawful military operation, which has claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 people, but airstrikes have continued with Saudi bombers targeting different areas across the country.