Iran urges Saudi Arabia to end Yemen war, engage in dialog

Iran urges Saudi Arabia to end Yemen war, engage in dialog

Iran has said it supports the Houthis' cause in Yemen but has repeatedly denied arming them, despite claims by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia of evidence of weapon shipments, AFP reported.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, now touring the United States, must balance animosity towards Iran with the need for stability as he pitches the kingdom's economic transformation plan to foreign investors and drums up support for containing Iran's regional influence.

Yemeni forces fired seven ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the continued massacre of civilians by the Saudi-led coalition. One of the missiles caused the war's first casualties in the Saudi capital Riyadh when falling debris struck a home and killed an Egyptian man and injured two others.

Qassemi made the remarks in response to claims made by Turki al-Malki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, who accused Iran of providing Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah fighters with ballistic missiles.

The Houthis expelled pro-government forces from the capital Sanaa in September 2014 and went on to seize swathes of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Iran has repeatedly denied giving missiles to the Houthis.

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"On the other hand, by making such claims, Saudi Arabia seeks to cover up its failures in Yemen", he noted.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015. By turning up the heat on Iran, the Trump administration can provoke the regime in Tehran to increase its engagement in conflicts across the broader Middle East that have already intensified in unsafe ways over the past five years.

Any political resolution to the conflict must not put the Houthis in government or we risk a situation like in Lebanon where Iran has proxy control of a government through a terrorist group.

"They may make similar moves in order to be seen to be doing something, but it won't really change the dynamics of the conflict", said Jane Kinninmont, Middle East expert at Chatham House in London.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi shrugged off Saudi Arabia's threats against the Islamic Republic, saying that the Riyadh regime is not powerful enough to "live out its dreams" (against Iran).

Saudi Arabia, which has been blamed for most civilian casualties in Yemen, is infamous for what human rights groups call "blackmailing" the United Nations to keep silent on its atrocities in Yemen.

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