No one allowed to inspect Iranian Yemen-bound aid ship: IRCS
The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) says no one has the right to inspect an Iranian ship carrying humanitarian aid for the people of war-stricken Yemen.
“Based on international regulations, no one can inspect a vessel that is moving in international waters carrying the flag of a country,” Amir Mohsen Ziya’ee said Tuesday.
The IRCS is a non-political organization and never pays attention to political issues, he said, stressing that the mission of the Iranian aid ship, which is loaded with relief supplies, is purely humanitarian.
The Nejat (Rescue) cargo ship, containing 2,500 tons of much-needed aid, including food, medical supplies and tents, left the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas for Yemen on Monday.
The aid consignment was donated by the IRCS and would reach Yemen’s port of al-Hudaydah in the Red Sea within the next 10 to 12 days.
A Press TV correspondent on board the vessel said a group of doctors are also on board the ship with a mission to help the poor people of Yemen, who have been seriously affected by Saudi military strikes over the past 50 days.
Earlier, the Saudi military had claimed that Saudi naval forces have the right to inspect the Iranian ship.
Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmad al-Assiri claimed on Tuesday that it is Saudi Arabia’s right to check the Iranian cargo.
The Al Saud regime has imposed a blockade on the delivery of relief supplies to the war-stricken people of Yemen in defiance of calls by international aid groups. Last month, it prevented two Iranian civilian planes from delivering medical aid and food supplies to the impoverished Arab country.
The Press TV correspondent also said that the ship is currently in the Gulf of Oman and, due to the clashes in the port of Aden, is forced to enter the Red Sea through the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb to finally deliver its cargo to the Yemeni official in the port of al-Hudaydah.
Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which currently controls the capital, Sana’a, and other major provinces, and to restore power to Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Saudi military campaign has claimed the lives of over 1,200 people so far and injured thousands of others. Hundreds of women and children are among the victims, according to the WHO.
Earlier this month, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and medical charity group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), known in English as Doctors Without Borders, expressed “extreme” concern about the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen’s lifelines and its obstruction of aid deliveries to the impoverished nation.