Iran urges UN to expedite dispatch of humanitarian aid to Yemen

Politics Materials 22 May 2015 00:22 (UTC +04:00)
The United Nations and its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, should play an “active” and “independent” role with regard to the deadly conflict in Yemen
Iran urges UN to expedite dispatch of humanitarian aid to Yemen

The United Nations and its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, should play an "active" and "independent" role with regard to the deadly conflict in Yemen, Zarif said during his meeting with the world body's special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in the Iranian capital Tehran on Thursday, Irna reported.

He also said that the establishment of a full-fledged ceasefire can be the starting point of any peace process in Yemen, adding that intra-Yemeni dialog is the only way out of the political deadlock in the Arabian Peninsula state.

'Iran backs initiatives that will bring all Yemeni political groups to the negotiating table," Zarif said, warning that no foreign country should be party to the peace talks.

Iran and other countries can help with Yemen's peace process only if the need arises, he went on to say.

The top Iranian diplomat also rejected as "unacceptable" the ongoing bombardment and siege against the Yemeni people, warning of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged country.

Ahmed, for his part, hailed Tehran's efforts to restore stability to Yemen, especially its four-point peace initiative to end bloodshed in the impoverished state.

The proposal, which was submitted by Zarif to the UN in April, includes hammering out a ceasefire, sending humanitarian assistance to the people affected by violence, launching an intra-Yemeni dialog, and establishing a broad-based government participated by all Yemeni factions.

The UN official further insisted on the Yemeni-Yemeni dialog as it facilitates a political solution to the conflict, adding that no Yemeni group should be left out of the peace process.

In relevant remarks yesterday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced that the first plane carrying Iran's aid, including foodstuff, will land in Djibouti, the UN-opted country for sending humanitarian aid to Yemen, on Thursday.

Also earlier reports said that the Iranian cargo ship carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen would dock at a Djibouti port to be inspected by the United Nations.

The ship which was sent by the Iranian Red Crescent Society to Yemen on May 13, loaded with pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, will then head towards Yemen's al-Hudayda port after being inspected.

IRCS Managing Director Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziyaee announced Tuesday that the IRCS would send another ship with relief aid to Yemen soon.

'A 12,000-ton shipment of Iran's relief aids is being prepared to be dispatched to Yemen,' Ziyaee said.

He noted that IRCS cargo planes carrying Iran' food aid will be dispatched to Djibouti where a relief aid center is set up in the coming days, and said, 'Furthermore, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) plans to set up a center in Salalah, Oman, in the coming days and as soon as it becomes ready, Iran's pharmaceutical aid will be sent (to Oman) through air.'

The IRCS has been trying to dispatch humanitarian aid to Yemen through sea and air, but has so far been unable to do so due to Saudi Arabia's blockade of the war-ravaged country.

Late in April, Saudi jet fighters shooed away three Iranian cargo planes from Yemen's airspace. But in the third case they bombed the Sana'a airport control tower and runway seven times to prevent the Iranian defying pilot from landing. The Iranian civilian plane was carrying humanitarian aids, including medical equipment, for the Yemeni people who have been under the Saudi-led airstrikes for over a month now. The cargo plane was due to take humanitarian aid to Yemen and take several civilians, who were critically wounded in the recent Saudi bombings, back to Tehran to receive specialized medical treatment.

Iran had earlier sent five consignments of humanitarian aid to Yemen, including a total of 69 tons of relief, medical, treatment, and consumer items.

Last month, Head of the Yemeni Red Crescent Society Mohammad Ahmad al-Kebab in a letter to Ziayee thanked Iran for the recent humanitarian and medical aid cargoes sent to his country.

'I appreciate the unsparing help and relief operations as well as the humanitarian attempts of the Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS),' al-Kebab said in his letter.

He expressed the hope that interactions and mutual cooperation between the two countries' Red Crescent societies would increase in future.

But late in April, the IRCS blasted Saudi Arabia for blocking Iran's humanitarian aids to Yemen.

'The IRCS humanitarian aid consignments are ready to be dispatched to Yemen, but unfortunately Saudi Arabia prevents their delivery to Yemen,' Shahabeddin Mohammadi Araqi, IRCS deputy managing director for international and humanitarian affairs, said.

Mohammadi Araqi described the Yemeni people's conditions as critical, and said, 'We are in contact with Yemen's Red Crescent Society and Health Ministry and have included their needs in the new consignment.'

He lamented that planes and ships are not allowed into Yemen's ports and airports, and said, 'Unfortunately, the Saudi government has prevented the dispatch of aids to Yemen.'