Top Yemen diplomat slams Iran, says Tehran 'part of the problem, not solution'
United Nations, Aug 22: Yemen's Foreign Minister Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi has said that Iran, which is accused of supporting Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, "is part of the problem, not the solution".
"Iran is the cause of the problem, Iran continues to support the Huthis, Iranian arms are smuggled. Iran is part of the problem, not the solution," Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi said when asked if Tehran could contribute to a political solution in Yemen.
He was speaking at UN headquarters after a major luncheon hosted by Yemen and Saudi Arabia with the majority of diplomatic missions to the United Nations.
"Iran has no role to play in the region," echoed the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi.
Saudi humanitarian aid to Yemen is estimated to top 8.2 billion dollars. The Saudi-led military coalition largely controls the country's airspace, although US drones also carry out strikes on suspected Al-Qaeda bases there.
More than 8,300 people have been killed and 44,000 wounded since the Saudi-led coalition entered the Yemen war in 2015. Close to 2,000 Yemenis have also died of cholera since April and another 600,000 are expected to contract the infection this year.
The Yemeni Crisis began with the 2011-12 revolution against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had led Yemen for more than two decades. After Saleh left office in early 2012 as part of a mediated agreement between the Yemeni government and opposition groups, the government led by Saleh's former vice president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, struggled to unite the fractious political landscape of the country and fend off threats both from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Houthi militants that had been waging a protracted insurgency in the north for years.