IranMiddle EastYemen

Iran’s initiative for ending Yemen war still on table: Foreign minister’s assistant

Iran has reiterated its previous call for finding a political solution to the five-year war Saudi Arabia has waged on Yemen, with the Iranian foreign minister’s senior assistant on special political affairs saying that the country's Yemen initiative is still on the table.

In an exclusive interview with Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news channel on Sunday, Ali Asghar Khaji said since the beginning of the military aggression against Yemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized that the crisis only has a political solution.

“That is why Iran presented a four-point plan,” he added.

Khaji was referring to a plan, submitted by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April 2015, which was an early attempt by Iran to end the bloodshed in the impoverished country.

The plan, which was presented in four provisions, included the cessation of all foreign military attacks in Yemen, swift transference of humanitarian aids, resumption of national-Yemeni talks, and formation of a comprehensive unity government.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khaji said while six years have passed since the beginning of the military aggression, not only the aggressors have failed to achieve their goals, but also the Yemeni people have managed to change the balance of power in their own favor.

He emphasized that the war on Yemen has created the worst humanitarian crisis of the century, causing a famine as well as killing thousands of women and children.

The war on Yemen was waged by the regime in Riyadh and a number of its regional allies in March 2015, with the aim of reinstalling the government of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and eliminating Yemen’s Ansarullah movement.

According to the latest report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the war has caused an estimated 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure.

Civilians, especially women and children, are the main victims of Yemen’s circumstances.

Henrietta Fore, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has recently described life as “a waking nightmare” for 12 million Yemeni children.

“Over 80 percent of people require urgent humanitarian assistance and protection, including 12 million children, whose lives are a waking nightmare,” Fore told an event dubbed “Averting famine in Yemen: What can we do now and in 2021” on Thursday.

“It is perhaps the most dangerous place on earth to be a child,” she said. “One child dies every 10 minutes from a preventable disease. Two million are out of school. And thousands have been killed, maimed or recruited since 2015.”

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