Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has taken Western countries to task for forgetting about the suffering of the Yemeni people as they continue to sell weapons to countries attacking the impoverished Arab nation.
“Some are exuberant to milk, and others even happier about being milked. Meanwhile, Yemenis, on whose backs juvenile delinquents seek to jumpstart careers, remain forgotten by the West,” Zarif said in a new post on his official Twitter account on Monday.
In his post, the top Iranian diplomat made a clear allusion to Western countries’ efforts to sell more arms to Saudi Arabia, which has been waging a devastating war on defenseless Yemeni people since March 2015.
Zarif’s tweet was also in reaction to the ongoing visit to Washington by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during which US President Donald Trump offered the Saudi prince to buy more American military hardware, while joking about their price by telling Salman “that’s peanuts for you.”
The United States on Thursday formally approved weapons sales to Saudi Arabia totaling more than $1 billion, despite growing pressure from rights groups to halt arms deals with Riyadh.
The US State Department confirmed that it had authorized a $670 million deal for anti-tank missiles, a $106 million contract for helicopter maintenance and $300 million for ground vehicle parts.
The heir to the Saudi throne arrived in Washington on March 19 as part of his three-week multi-city tour of the United States.
In a meeting between bin Salman and Trump on Tuesday, the US president said Washington and Riyadh produced charts to show the depth of Saudi purchases of US military hardware and what he said were the number of American jobs they are providing.
“The relationship now is probably as good as it’s really ever been and I think will probably only get better – tremendous investments made in our country and that means jobs for our workers,” he told reporters during a picture-taking session with the crown prince.
According to a report by Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights on Sunday, the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen has killed and injured over 600,000 civilians, including more than a quarter of a million children.
More than 247,000 children have lost their lives due to severe malnutrition, and 17,608 civilians have died because of inability to travel abroad to seek medical treatment.
The United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
Iran on Sunday urged the United States and “some European countries” to discontinue their support for aggressor states in Yemen, accusing them of destroying the impoverished Arab country and committing crimes against humanity.
“It would be more appropriate for the United States and some European countries to take serious steps to stop the war and incessant war crimes in Yemen instead of supporting aggressors against Yemen and supplying them with all kinds of arms and military aircraft,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released to mark the beginning of the fourth year of the Yemen war.