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EXCLUSIVE: Yemenis Gather in Hudayda to Welcome Iran’s Aid Ship

16 May 2015 19:17


A large number of Yemeni people are waiting on the coasts of the port city of al-Hudayda in Southern Yemen to welcome the Iranian cargo ship carrying humanitarian aid to the Arab country, FNA dispatches said Saturday.

The residents of al-Hudayda have gathered on the coasts since a few days ago to receive Iran’s medical and food aid.

The people of Hudayda have called on residents of other Yemeni provinces to stage rallies in support of Iran’s aid ship to Yemen and condemning Saudi Arabia and its hostile policies towards their country.

On Wednesday, a senior Iranian health official announced that the IRCS had sent a ship loaded with pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to Yemen.

“A ship carrying a 12-member medical team from Iran as well as over 100 tons of the country’s aid comprising medicine and medical equipment was dispatched to Yemen on Wednesday morning,” IRCS Deputy Managing Director Seyed Reza Rais Karami told reporters.

The IRCS has been trying to dispatch humanitarian aid to Yemen through sea and air, but has so far been unable to do so due to Saudi Arabia’s blockade of the war-ravaged country.

Late in April, Saudi jet fighters shooed away three Iranian cargo planes from Yemen’s airspace. But in the third case they bombed the Sana’a airport control tower and runway seven times to prevent the Iranian defying pilot from landing. The Iranian civilian plane was carrying humanitarian aids, including medical equipment, for the Yemeni people who have been under the Saudi-led airstrikes for over a month now. The cargo plane was due to take humanitarian aid to Yemen and take several civilians, who were critically wounded in the recent Saudi bombings, back to Tehran to receive specialized medical treatment.

Iran had earlier sent five consignments of humanitarian aid to Yemen, including a total of 69 tons of relief, medical, treatment, and consumer items

Last month, Head of the Yemeni Red Crescent Society Mohammad Ahmad al-Kebab in a letter to his Iranian counterpart Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziayee thanked Iran for the recent humanitarian and medical aid cargoes sent to his country.

“I appreciate the unsparing help and relief operations as well as the humanitarian attempts of the Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS),” al-Kebab said in his letter.

He expressed the hope that interactions and mutual cooperation between the two countries’ Red Crescent societies would increase in future.

But late in April, the IRCS blasted Saudi Arabia for blocking Iran’s humanitarian aids to Yemen.

“The IRCS humanitarian aid consignments are ready to be dispatched to Yemen, but unfortunately Saudi Arabia prevents their delivery to Yemen,” Shahabeddin Mohammadi Araqi, IRCS deputy managing director for international and humanitarian affairs, said.

Mohammadi Araqi described the Yemeni people’s conditions as critical, and said, “We are in contact with Yemen’s Red Crescent Society and Health Ministry and have included their needs in the new consignment.”

He lamented that planes and ships are not allowed into Yemen’s ports and airports, and said, “Unfortunately, the Saudi government has prevented the dispatch of aids to Yemen.”

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