DUBAI: The Yemeni government called on Tehran to prove its credibility in supporting peace efforts for the country by withdrawing its military governor in Sana’a, Hassan Erlo, state news agency Saba reported.
The government also called on Tehran to halt the smuggling of weapons shipments – including ballistic missiles and drones – and the sending of experts in weapons development such as mines and improvised explosive devices, Muammar Al-Eryani, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Yemeni official’s comments were in response to statements made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his meeting with the representative of the Houthi militia.
“Zarif’s statements are an attempt to cover up the role that Tehran played in managing the Houthi coup, the war in Yemen, and exacerbating the human suffering of Yemenis,” Al-Eryani said.
The Yemeni minister pointed out that the world has become aware of the Iran’s role in the Houthi militia’s efforts to destabilize security and stability in Yemen, and standing against efforts for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Meanwhile, Yemeni and human rights activists have praised the initiative recently announced by Saudi Arabia to bring peace to Yemen, while holding the Iranian-backed Houthi militia responsible for thwarting that initiative.
This came in a seminar organized by the Arab Initiative for Education and Development under the title “Researching the opportunities and challenges of the peace process in Yemen in light of the Saudi initiative,” Saba reported.
Yemeni political activist Wissam Basindwa, who moderated the seminar, said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has adopted successive peace and truce processes during the previous years, but the Houthis do not abide by any truce and do not try to stop this war.”
She added that “during the five weeks in which Saudi Arabia launched the initiative, and the whole world welcomed it, it was rejected by the Houthis directly.”
Manal Al-Muslimi, the Belgian parliamentarian and European Parliament advisor for foreign affairs in the Middle East and North Africa, affirmed that the peace path that Saudi Arabia started shows that the Houthi militia was a tool to implement Iranian programs targeting the region and monitoring shipping lines.
“Iran is deporting the Iraqi experiment to Yemen, and this is what should be taken into consideration in the peace track in Yemen,” Jason Brodsky, a Middle East analyst and a fellow of the Wilson Center and United Against Nuclear Iran, also commented.
Brodsky claimed that the commander of the Quds Force, Hassan Erlo, has worked to escalate the military and operational violence of the Houthis since his arrival in Sana’a, and that the militia has stepped up its attack against Marib and Saudi Arabia, after they were removed from the US list of terrorist organizations.