Iran urges lasting ceasefire, end of blockade in Yemen

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A senior Iranian official has called for a lasting ceasefire and an immediate end to human blockade in war-hit Yemen.

“The establishment of a sustainable and lasting ceasefire and removal of human blockade will be key factors to the conclusion of a comprehensive and complete agreement among Yemeni groups,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a telephone conversation with the UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on Friday.

He added that Saudi Arabia’s military attack on Yemen has escalated insecurity in the Middle East and noted that “complex and dangerous” terrorist movements are currently boosting their forces in southern Yemen.

The Iranian diplomat hailed efforts by the UN envoy to mediate talks in Switzerland among warring sides in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

Members of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and representatives loyal to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, reached an agreement in Magglingen, northern Switzerland, on December 17 during UN-mediated talks on a full and immediate resumption of humanitarian assistance to conflict-stricken areas in the south of the impoverished country.

The deal will facilitate the delivery of a large UN convoy carrying essential humanitarian supply and destined for the most affected districts of Ta’izz.

Amir-Abdollahian once again reiterated Tehran’s stance on the importance of settling the crisis through political approaches and said Iran believes that the security of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and all countries in the region will be guaranteed provided that there is a genuine campaign against terrorism, the recent Yemeni-Yemeni agreement is implemented and the blockade on Yemen is removed.

He emphasized that Tehran strongly supports the UN efforts to solve the crisis through political approaches and to improve regional security.

The UN envoy, for his part, said military approaches would fail to solve the Yemeni conflict, adding that Yemeni sides can reach a comprehensive agreement should they continue their negotiations.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March. More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the start of the military aggression. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.

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