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Saudi Arabia playing with fire, toying ceasefire in Yemen: Iran

28 July 2015 16:41












A senior Iranian diplomat has warned against the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen, saying Saudi Arabia is not taking the issue of ceasefire in Yemen seriously.

“Saudi Arabia played with fire by making a strategic mistake in [its] attack on Yemen and it is now toying with the issue of ceasefire,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday that there would be a five-day halt in the military aggression against Yemen starting from 11: 59 pm local time (2059 GMT) on Sunday.

The self-declared ceasefire went into effect but aerial bombardment of the war-stricken country continued unabated prior to the pause. Riyadh has already violated several ceasefires in Yemen.

Amir-Abdollahian urged “everybody to help the Yemeni people and also the United Nations in stopping the aggression and lifting the humanitarian blockade” in the war-hit country.

The Iranian diplomat also stressed the need for the political settlement of the crisis in Yemen, warning that the use of force in Yemen would escalate “terrorism” in the Middle East region.

Amir-Abdollahian said influential political movements and groups in Yemen are supporting “national dialog and Yemeni-Yemeni agreement” as the solution to ongoing conflict.

The Saudi aggression against Yemen started on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Ansarullah movement and to restore power to Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

People gather following a Saudi airstrike on the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on July 20, 2015. (© AFP)

Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said earlier this month that at least 1,693 civilians had been killed and 3,829 others injured in the Arab country since March 26.

However, local sources have given a much higher number of fatalities, with some of them putting the death toll at more than 4,500.

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