Operation to take Hodeidah essential for Yemenis, security of Red Sea waterway: Saudi Ambassador in DC

File photo showing Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 24, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Operation to take Hodeidah essential for Yemenis, security of Red Sea waterway: Saudi Ambassador in DC

LONDON: Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the saudi ambassador to Washington said in a tweet on his Twitter account that “the coalition operations to liberate the city of Hodeidah are a continuation of the support delivered by the Saudi-led Arab coalition for Yemeni people, and a way to support the freedom of Yemenis against the militia supported by Iran bent on sowing chaos and destruction in the country.

Yemeni forces on Wednesday got closer to Hodeidah after taking control of the suburb of Nekheila south of the town and port of Hodeidah as part of a new operation called ‘Golden victory’ aimed to liberate Hodeidah and its port.

The Saudi Ambassador to Washington added in a separate tweet that the saudi-led Arab coalition operations to re-take Hodeidah are important in light of the increased threat the militias controling the port of Hodeidah have been posing for maritime security in the Red Sea,
which the ambassador added is a vital waterway through which 15% of world trade pass annually as well as regional trade and commerce.

Prince Khaled added that Iran backed Houthi militia have launched repeated attacks on commercial and military ships belonging to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US


For Iranians, economic crisis looms larger than US tensions

Updated 32 min 48 sec ago
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For Iranians, economic crisis looms larger than US tensions

  • Iran’s 80 million people struggle to buy meat, medicine and other staples of daily life
  • Many pointed to the economy, not the possible outbreak of war

TEHRAN: Across Iran’s capital, the talk always seems to come back to how things may get worse.
Battered by US sanctions and its depreciating rial currency, Iran’s 80 million people struggle to buy meat, medicine and other staples of daily life.
Many pointed to the economy, not the possible outbreak of war, as Iran’s major concern. Iran’s rial currency traded at 32,000 to $1 at the time of the 2015 nuclear deal. Now it is at 148,000, and many have seen their life’s savings wiped out.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate is 12 percent. For youth it’s even worse, with a quarter of all young people unemployed, according to Iran’s statistic center.
“The economic situation is very bad, very bad. Unemployment is very high, and those who had jobs have lost theirs,” said Sadeghi, the housewife. “Young people can’t find good jobs, or get married, or become independent.”
Sores Maleki, a 62-year-old retired accountant, said talks with the US to loosen sanctions would help jumpstart Iran’s economy.
“We should go and talk to America with courage and strength. We are able to do that, others have done it,” Maleki said. “We can make concessions and win concessions. We have no other choice.”
But such negotiations will be difficult, said Reza Forghani, a 51-year-old civil servant. He said Iran needed to get the US to “sign a very firm contract that they can’t escape and have to honor.” Otherwise, Iran should drop out of the nuclear deal.
“When someone refuses to keep promises and commitments, you can tolerate it a couple of times, but then certainly you can’t remain committed forever. You will react,” Forghani said. “So I don’t think we should remain committed to the deal until the end.”
Yet for Iran’s youth, many of whom celebrated the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal in the streets, the situation now feels more akin to a funeral. Many openly discuss their options to obtain a visa — any visa — to get abroad.
“Young people have a lot of stress and the future is unknown,” said Hamedzadeh, the 20-year-old civil servant. “The future is so unknown that you can’t plan. The only thing they can do is to somehow leave Iran and build a life abroad.”