Iran urges halt to arms sales for resolution of Yemen crisis

Tasnim – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman called on Western governments like Britain to show serious determination to resolve the conflict in Yemen by halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia instead of using political rhetoric.

Asked about British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s trip to Yemen, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters at a weekly press conference that settlement of the disputes in Yemen requires serious resolve, not trips and words.

“We are witnessing a serious and tragic crisis in Yemen caused by the invasion of the Saudi-led coalition’s countries. The issue of Yemen does not require travel therapy and speech therapy,” the spokesperson stressed.

He called for efforts toward a practical way to end the war on Yemen, adding, “If other countries are seeking to help settle the crisis in Yemen, they’ll need to take other measures (than visiting the country and making statements), and should contribute to an end to the crisis and take action by halting arms sales (to Saudi Arabia).”

In response to the recent comments by former foreign minister of Saudi Arabai Adel al-Jubeir who has accused Iran of prolonging the war on Yemen, Qassemi said there is no need for a response when the name of Mr. Jubeir is mentioned.

He said the former Saudi foreign minister has had to remain silent for a while due to the scandalous developments inside the kingdom, adding that the Riyadh regime could not settle its problems by pinning the blame on others. “I believe that the world public opinion would judge this.”

British Foreign Secretary Hunt who has visited Yemen said on Sunday that a peace process in Yemen’s port city of Hudaydah “could be dead within weeks.”

“There is a narrative in Saudi, the United Arab Emirates and the Yemen government that you simply cannot trust the Houthis; they never do what they promise to do and that will be confirmed if this does not happen,” Hunt said in criticism of Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Saudi Arabia, which has launched a military campaign against Yemen since March 2018, is one of the biggest customers of British arms.

In 2016, then-UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said British troops were helping identify targets for the Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen and claimed they haven’t found any “deliberate” breaches of humanitarian law.

In November 2018, British charity organization Oxfam said its humanitarian aid projects in Yemen have repeatedly been bombed by the Saudi-led coalition, slamming London for refusing to halt their support and weapon supplies to Riyadh.

In April 2018, the Saudi-led jets struck a water supply system which impacted the livelihood of at least 6,000 people in Yemen, which is suffering one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the 21st century.

The UK government has been widely criticized for its continued support of Saudi Arabia and its arms supplies, which contributed to the destruction of vital infrastructure and mounting civilian casualties.

Since Britain makes billions on these arms sales, over the last three years London has repeatedly dodged the pressure to cut arms deals to the Saudis.

Official UN figures say that more than 15,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led bombing campaign began in March 2015.

The Saudi war has impacted over seven million children in Yemen who now face a serious threat of famine, according to UNICEF figures. Over 6,000 children have either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015, UN children’s agency said. The humanitarian situation in the country has also been exacerbated by outbreaks of cholera, polio, and measles.