London, Tehran in diplomatic row over Yemeni crisis
Tehran, Iran, Aug. 12
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Iran has accused the UK of contributing to the killing of civilians in Yemen after a British official recently accused Tehran of arming groups in the war-torn Southwest Asian country.
“The UK has to be responsible to the world for arming a campaign led by the child-murdering Saudi Arabia,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement that appeared on ministry’s website Aug. 12.
The UK minister for the Middle East and Africa, Tobias Ellwood recently claimed that Britain had “received reports implying that Iran has transferred arms to Yemen,” but Qassemi turned the tables on the UK government.
The spokesman said the use of UK-made weapons by Saudi Arabia against innocent Yemeni civilians is “extensive and undeniable.”
“The British official would better explain this anti-human behavior and answer questions posed by the House of Commons representatives over extensive, irrefutable use of flamethrowers in killing civilians, including innocent Yemeni women and children.”
In July, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had “compelling evidence” that British weapons were being used by Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen, including against civilian targets.
In January, the then UK Prime Minister David Cameron was urged to immediately suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid growing fears that British-made weapons may have been used to bomb hospitals, schools, markets and other civilian targets in Yemen.
A United Nations report had then said the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen had involved “widespread and systematic” targeting of civilians “in violation of international humanitarian law”.
Britain has been a leading arms supplier to Saudi Arabia and has military personnel working with the Saudi forces on the ground.