Iran is blocking peace efforts in Yemen: Saudi Minister

Saudi Arabia on Sunday accused Iran of blocking peace efforts in Yemen, slamming it for supporting rebels which coalition forces are battling in Yemen.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir accused Tehran of smuggling arms to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa and northern Yemen, and to the rebels’ ally former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“Iran is destroying all attempts to find a solution in Yemen, which has led to the failure of all political negotiations between the government and these militias,” Al Jubeir said in Riyadh.

He was addressing a meeting of foreign ministers and military officials from countries, including Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE, which are part of the Saudi-led coalition involved in Yemen.

“These militias would not have continued operations without the support of the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world – the Iranian regime,” Al Jubeir said.

While Iran does not hide its support for the rebels’ cause, it has consistently denied smuggling arms to the Houthis.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al Mekhlafi told the meeting the Houthis were carrying out a “sectarian project inspired by Iran” which he said sought to “topple the legitimate (Yemeni) government”.

The Yemen war has claimed more than 8,600 lives since a regional military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, joined the Yemeni government’s fight against the rebels in 2015.

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