DUBAI: Yemen’s foreign ministry said Iran’s support for the Houthis has pushed the war into its seventh year, state news agency SABA reported.
“Iran is not only destroying Yemen and exacerbating its humanitarian crisis, but is turning Yemen’s territories to a place for extorting neighborly counties and threatening the global security and peace,” Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak told the US envoy to Iran Robert Malley over a video call.
Bin Mubarak also said the militia have blocked all peace initiatives and mediation efforts including that of the US.
The Yemeni foreign minister called on the US to put more pressure on the Iran to stop its military support, especially smuggling of arms to the Houthis, which the militia use to attack civilians in Yemen and in its neighboring countries.
Iran’s support to Houthis “undermines the efforts to bring an end to the war,” he added.
Late in March, Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging initiative to bring peace to Yemen, deliver aid to its people and end the country’s six-year war.
The plan calls for a nationwide cease-fire supervised by the UN, the reopening of Sanaa airport, and new talks to reach a political resolution to the conflict.
Restrictions on the Red Sea port of Hodeidah would be eased, allowing access for ships and cargo. Income from the port, including taxes, would go to the central bank in Hodeidah in accordance with the Stockholm agreement.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan urged the Iran-backed Houthi militia to join the initiative. “We want the guns to fall completely silent,” Prince Faisal said.
“However, the time frame is up to the Houthis now. We are ready to go to them. But they have to decide, will they put the interests of Yemen first or the interests of Iran?”
The Saudi peace plan was widely welcomed across the region and the world, and was immediately supported by Yemen’s government, which blamed the Houthis for the failure of previous initiatives.