Iran has lambasted “ridiculous and unfounded” remarks by Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, accusing the Islamic Republic of “blocking peace efforts” in Yemen.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi’s reaction on Monday came a day after Adel al-Jubeir addressed in Riyadh a gathering of his counterparts from the countries which have been bombing Yemen since 2015.
“The Saudi foreign minister’s claim about Iran’s obstruction of peace in Yemen is ridiculous and unfounded,” Qassemi said.
“Repeating false claims at the Riyadh gathering will not reduce the burden of human and international responsibility on those who have committed heinous crimes of killing and destroying schools and hospitals to besieging and starving innocent and Muslim people.”
More than 12,000 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia unleashed a ferocious military campaign against Yemen in 2015.
Riyadh is adamant to restore a former Yemeni regime which is at odds with the country’s major political groups, including Houthis.
The Saudi campaign has also destroyed the impoverished nation’s infrastructure and led to one of the most brutal cholera outbreaks in Yemen and put it on brink of famine.
Qassemi called on participants at the Riyadh summit “not to continue their mistakes and apologize to the Yemeni people in order to pave the way for a stop to the war and start of comprehensive negotiations.”
In his address to the Riyadh gathering on Sunday, Jubeir accused Tehran of smuggling arms to Houthis, saying they would not have continued operations without Iran’s support.
“Iran is destroying all attempts to find a solution in Yemen, which has led to the failure of all political negotiations between the government and these militias,” he said.
Qassemi dismissed those charges, saying “the Islamic Republic of Iran condemned the aggression from the first hours it started and demanded the cessation of the war.”
Iran “continues to reject the military solution in Yemen, and in this regard, it will not hesitate to make any effort to end this hideous and bloody war,” the spokesman added.