The spokesman for Yemen’s Ansarullah movement says despite Saudi Arabia’s claims, Iran does not interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs and that missiles fired by Yemeni forces at Saudi targets operate on fuel produced inside the war-torn country.
Mohammed Abdul-Salam made the remarks in a Thursday interview with al-Mayadeen television network when asked about frequent allegations by the Riyadh regime that Iran’s interference is a reason for the prolongation of the war in Yemen.
“Iran does not interfere in Yemen’s affairs in any way, but it is them (the so-called Saudi-led coalition) that connect solution [of the Yemeni crisis] to Iran’s interference and let the West interfere in their decisions,” the Yemeni official said.
He added that reports prepared by Americans themselves show that Yemeni missiles’ fuel is produced in the country.
#صنعاء تحسم؛ مبادرة #الرياض مرفوضة… لماذا؟ وصواريخ صنعاء تطال الرياض وتلهبها… أي رسائل؟
6 سنوات من الحرب على #اليمن فهل اقترب الحسم؟#اليمن_ينتصر مع #محمد_عبدالسلام بعد قليل على شاشة #الميادين. pic.twitter.com/GIlaX3ZNbQ — قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) March 25, 2021
Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched a war against Yemen in March 2015 to restore the government of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who resigned in 2014 and then fled to Riyadh.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the war has killed almost a quarter of a million Yemenis, caused outbreaks of disease, turned Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and brought the poor Arab country to the verge of famine.
Referring to a recent “peace plan” offered by the Saudi regime, Abdul-Salam said the invitation by Riyadh to hold dialog is irrational because it sounds as if Saudi Arabia is merely a neutral mediator.
“In addition, the [Saudi peace] plan vilifies Yemen’s revolutionary forces,” Abdul-Salam said, adding that the insults and threats incorporated in the plan make it unworthy of Yemenis’ attention.
The remarks came days after Riyadh presented a so-called peace initiative to end the war in Yemen, which was immediately dismissed as “nothing new” by the Ansarullah-led government in Sana’a.
The plan includes a nationwide ceasefire under the supervision of the UN and reopening of air and sea links, as well as reopening of Sana’a airport, and free passage for fuel and food imports through the Hudaydah port, both of which are controlled by Ansarullah.
Abdul-Salam explained that the plan was proposed while Yemen is still under the aggression and siege of the Saudi-led coalition, with the US and Britain being in a position of dominance over the developments.
He added that a British officer controls the entry and exit of ships into and out of the Red Sea, while Hadi’s team has no information about the arrival and departure of ships whatsoever.
Describing Riyadh’s plan as very superficial, the Yemeni official said the Saudis are not in a position to act as a mediator without backing away from their attacks against Yemen.
“Thousands of people in Yemen die because of the siege and lack of food and medicine,” he said, stressing that the Yemeni government cannot accept the Saudi-led siege of the Arab country.
Rights groups slam France for selling arms to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen
Meanwhile, French human rights groups marked the sixth anniversary of the Yemen war in Paris on Thursday, denouncing France’s arms sales to countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates that are involved in the fighting.
Amnesty International France said the French government is one of the major suppliers of arms to Yemen, including fighter planes and missile-guiding systems, Reuters reported.
Aymeric Elluin, an Amnesty International campaigner on arms sales, was quoted as saying that the French parliament must have a right to demand a stop to the sales and echo other international players who have suspended similar trades.
Elluin added that the US has stopped selling F-35 fighter planes to the Saudi-led coalition and Italy, for its part, has suspended deliveries of bombs and air munitions to Riyadh.
Medecins du Monde said Yemenis are facing a dire health situation, with 16 million expected to suffer from hunger and malnutrition, on top of the risk of COVID-19.