Zarif Calls for Lasting Truce in Yemen
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that any ceasefire in Yemen should be permanent and not temporary.
‘A temporary ceasefire plan that has been announced – but not started yet – in Yemen should last forever,’ in a joint press conference with his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Tehran on Monday.
‘We support any ceasefire and halt to the military operations that take innocent people, women and children as its victims, and (we urge that) it should turn into a permanent truce and the negotiations in this regard should continue,’ Zarif added.
The Iranian foreign minister pointed to Iran’s 4-Article Plan for ceasefire in Yemen that was presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last month, and said, ‘The first article of our plan was establishment of an immediate and all-inclusive ceasefire in Yemen.’
Zarif called for paving the way for holding national talks in Yemen, establishing a broad-based government and establishing constructive relations with the neighboring countries.
‘Since the outbreak of the crisis in Yemen and the illegal attacks on the Yemeni people, the Islamic Republic of Iran has explicitly announced that the crisis in the Arab country does not have a military solution and the attacks will not produce any result other than massacre of the innocent people,’ the Iranian foreign minister added.
Zarif reiterated that Iran will continue holding comprehensive talks with the UN’s special envoy on Yemen, and said that Tehran will also continue dispatching humanitarian aid and rendering assistance to help the achievement of a political solution in Yemen.
In mid-April, Zarif put forward details of a proposed peace plan according to which Tehran seeks to help end the ongoing conflict gripping Yemen.
During his visit to the Spanish capital, Madrid, Zarif proposed a four-point plan, emphasizing the Yemeni nation’s right to decide its own future free from foreign interference.
The proposal includes hammering out a ceasefire, sending humanitarian assistance to the people affected by violence, launching an intra-Yemeni dialog, and establishing a broad-based government participated by all Yemeni factions, according to Zarif.
Humanitarian organizations say they face a tough challenge for delivering aid to the Yemeni people affected by the ongoing Saudi onslaught, because of a severe fuel shortage and difficulty accessing warehouses and safety issues due to the bombings.
Saudi Arabia started its unauthorized aerial bombardments on Yemen on March 26. The Saudi-led attacks have drawn international criticism after claiming the lives of at least 3,623 people, mostly women and children, and razing thousands of housing units to the ground.
Also, thousands of people have been injured during the attacks as the Saudi offensive enters its 47th consecutive day.
Some western countries, including the US, have backed the Saudi aggression despite international calls for a swift halt to the attacks.