AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has accused the Iranian regime of becoming more blatant in its support for the Houthis while undermining peace initiatives to end the war in the country.
During a meeting with Martin Griffiths, the UN Yemen envoy, in Riyadh on Wednesday, Hadi said that the presence of the Iranian ambassador to the Houthis in Sanaa violates diplomatic and international norms and laws, and reveals Iran’s unashamed support of the Houthis.
According to the official news agency SABA, Hadi told the UN mediator that the Iranians directed the Houthis to stage the deadly attack on Aden airport last week and other attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, aiming to ruin peace efforts and undermine peace and stability in Yemen.
The Iranian ambassador in Houthi-held Sanaa, Hassan Eyrlo, has provoked widespread outrage in Yemen by taking part in social, religious and political activities sponsored by the Houthis, including a gathering to mark the killing one year ago of Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force.
The Yemeni president said that the Iranian official’s activities in the Yemeni capital offered more evidence of Tehran’s support for the Houthis.
Yemen Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed last week accused Iranian military experts of plotting the Aden airport attack.
A senior government official told Arab News that the UN envoy congratulated Hadi on the formation of the new unity government and condemned the attack on Aden airport and other strikes in Yemen.
According to the government official, who requested anonymity, the UN envoy did not discuss his joint declaration peace proposal, which calls for an immediate nationwide truce followed by economic measures to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Under the proposal, the Yemeni government and the Houthis would engage in direct talks to discuss sharing power.
In Aden, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Yemen’s new foreign minister, renewed his government’s commitments to strike a deal to end the war and the suffering of Yemenis.
In a phone call with the Belgian Ambassador to Yemen, Dominique Mineur, the foreign minister accused the Houthis of seeking to undermine peace initiatives by attacking the Yemeni government shortly after it landed in Aden last week.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Minister of Information, Muammar Al-Aryani, said that the death toll from the Aden airport attack rose to 27 after two critically injured victims died at local hospitals.
During a visit to wounded media workers at Aden hospitals, the minister said that the Yemeni president had ordered the government to pay the medical expenses of the wounded, including the cost of sending critical cases abroad.
On Tuesday, official media announced the death of Mahfouz Mohammed, deputy director of Aden’s office of the Political Security Organization, from wounds sustained in the airport attack.
Health officials in Aden told Arab News that conditions facing critically wounded victims of the attack are worsening, with many needing urgent medical treatment abroad.