UN Chief, FM Discuss Yemen Crisis

UN Chief, FM Discuss Yemen CrisisUN Chief, FM Discuss Yemen Crisis

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conferred on the humanitarian situation in Yemen in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, both stressing the need to urgently address the conflict raging in the Arab country to prevent further catastrophic consequences.

Denouncing the crimes committed against the war-hit Yemeni people as an act of "genocide", Zarif said, "Such crimes are in flagrant breach of international law and the principles governing humanitarian rights," IRNA reported. "The outcome has been the expansion of extremist and terrorist groups and escalation of human disaster in Yemen."

Expressing Tehran's support for the efforts by the newly appointed UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to help put an end to the Saudi aggression, facilitate the flow of aid to the conflict-stricken country and start Yemeni-Yemeni talks, he underlined the need for the adoption of a diplomatic strategy to address the conflict, saying that a military solution will not benefit anyone.

Ban Ki-moon, for his part, thanked Iran for its effort to help initiate a diplomatic process to resolve the crisis, saying, "The United Nations will continue its efforts to help restore peace and security to Yemen and the whole region."

In another development, in talks with Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP) Ertharin Cousin on the phone, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian voiced Iran's readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

"Dispatching humanitarian aid to Yemen has been among the main concerns of the Islamic Republic since the outbreak of the crisis in the country," Amir Abdollahian said, adding that Iran's Red Crescent Society is prepared to send three planes in coordination with the WFP over the next 24 hours.

Cousin expressed interest on behalf of the WFP to cooperate with Iran by forming joint teams.

Ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia became tense after the start of the civil war in Yemen, in which the two leading Muslim countries support opposing sides.

The recent move by Saudi officials to intercept Iran's Yemen-bound aid planes and prevent their landing has aggravated tensions in Tehran-Riyadh relations, prompting the foreign ministry to summon the Arab kingdom's chargé d'affaires twice to protest about the issue.