Iran ready to send 3 aid planes to Yemen: Official
A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic is ready to send three planes carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen within the next 24 hours.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, said that the Islamic Republic was ready to deliver food and medical supplies to Yemen via the UN World Food Program.
Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the UN agency, on Tuesday.
Cousin, for her part, said that the agency was ready to cooperate with Iran in delivering relief aid to Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has already blocked earlier Iranian aid deliveries to Yemen. Last month, Riyadh prevented two Iranian civilian planes from delivering medical aid and foodstuff to the Yemeni people.
Meanwhile, an Iranian cargo ship is traveling to Yemen to deliver humanitarian aid to the war-hit impoverished Arab country. The ship carrying tons of much-needed aid, including food and medical supplies, is now in the Sea of Oman, heading towards the Yemeni port city of Hudaidah.
A senior Iranian naval commander said on Tuesday the country’s Navy will protect the Yemen-bound cargo ship.
“The 34th naval fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s army, which is currently present in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab strait, has been tasked with protecting the ship carrying Iran’s humanitarian aid [to Yemen],” Rear Admiral Hossein Azad said on Tuesday.
The Iranian commander said that the 34th naval flotilla, which comprises the Bushehr logistic vessel and Alborz destroyer, is on a mission to display Iran’s naval might, provide security along international shipping lines and safeguard Iran’s interests.
The 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy left Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas for the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait on April 8 on a 90-day mission.
In an interview with Press TV, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, the secretary general of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS,) expressed hoped for the safe delivery of the relief consignment following Saudi Arabia’s earlier blocking of aid.
“Iran’s aid convoy was supposed to be sent to Yemen by airplanes, but Saudi Arabia did not allow Iranian planes to land. Officials in Yemen and even Saudi Arabia have been informed about Iran’s aid ship. Hopefully there will be no problem in unloading the ship in its destination,” Ahmadi said.
In addition to the crew members, the ship is also carrying a number of volunteer doctors as well as activists.
“I’m here on board of this ship, Iran Shahed, to make sure that the world gets to know help that the world gets to know about the atrocities of the US-backed Saudis in Yemen against the civilian population, against any law. It’s a … brutal massacring of civilian people,” Christoph Horstel, an activist with the Deutsche Mitte Party, told Press TV correspondent.
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.