Iranian official raps UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Tasnim – Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani denounced the British government’s sales of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia, saying such support amounts to involvement in the crimes against the war-torn people of Yemen.

In a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Tehran on Saturday, Shamkhani decried the UK sales of weapons to violators of human rights, such as the Saudi Arabian and Bahraini regimes.

While the blockade and bombing of Yemen have drawn international condemnation, those aiding and abetting such crimes are also regarded as violators of human rights by the world public opinion, the Iranian official said.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Over 14,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.

Shamkhani also referred to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the new capital of Israel, saying the move has unified voices across the Muslim world and put the spotlight on Palestine, the Islamic world’s paramount issue.

For his part, Johnson voiced London’s opposition to the US decision to declare Quds capital of Israel, saying Britain will keep its embassy in Tel Aviv.

Unilateral measures would hamper the peace process, he added.

Heading a diplomatic delegation, Johnson arrived in Tehran on Saturday morning and held a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iran and Britain moved to improve relations after finalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), which came into force in January 2016.