Iran daily: Tehran plays up support of Iraq, but focuses on Yemen crisis

Amid a PR push challenging the US and Saudi Arabia over Yemen, Iran used high-profile meetings with Iraqi President Fuad Masum on Wednesday to make a further move.

On the second day of Masum’s visit, the Supreme Leader received him to declare, “The current relationship…is unprecedented as compared with previous years and this trend shows the wisdom of the Iraqi brethren and it should keep on continuing like before.”

Ayatollah Khamenei then made an unsubtle play for Iraqi backing of Iran’s manoeuvres over crises such as Yemen and Syria: “Iraq’s position certainly can be influential on regional issues and this capacity must be used more and more.”

The Supreme Leader returned to Tehran’s focus on Yemen, following declarations on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic will send aid by cargo ship and plane to the country and challenge a Saudi-US blockade.

See Iran Daily, May 13: Will Tehran Challenge US and Saudi Arabia With War Over “Aid” to Yemen?

The Saudis and Americans claim that Iran is sending weapons and other military supplies to the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement, which took control of Yemen’s capital Sana’a in February and then advanced on the south of the country, including the port of Aden where President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi tried to set up an alternative Government.

A Saudi-led coalition began bombing in late March to check the advance. This week, a 5-day ceasefire was agreed to allow humanitarian aid to reach Yemenis.

The Supreme Leader said on Wednesday:

The Saudis committed a big mistake in Yemen and the impacts of the crimes they have committed will certainly backfire on them.

They attacked Yemen based on a request by the fugitive and ousted Yemeni President…who committed treason against his country under the most volatile conditions.

Khamenei also commented on the situation in Syria, where Iran’s ally Bashar al-Assad is in increasing difficulty amid rebel advances and economic crisis:

In a very hazardous plot, enemies of are seeking to create perpetual chaos in so that they can make whole region insecure.

Certain Arab countries’ plot for is utterly destructive. Their plot will ruin not only Syria but also their own countries.