Zarif to UN: World must help end senseless war on Yemen

November 14, 2017

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to the UN secretary general on Monday suggesting that it is essential that the international community get more engaged in ending the “senseless war” on Yemen.

“It is the duty of the international community to get more responsibly and effectively engaged in ending the senseless war and establishing a ceasefire, ensuring delivery of humanitarian assistance and eventually restoring permanent peace in this country through dialogue and national reconciliation without preconditions,” Zarif said in the letter to Antonio Guterres.

A Saudi-led coalition backed by the U.S. started the war on Yemen in March 2015 with the aim of reinstating ousted president Mansour Hadi. The war has led to famine and spread of cholera in the poor country.  The UN is calling it "the world's worst humanitarian crisis."

Following is full text of Zarif’s letter published on the Iranian Foreign Ministry website:

I would like to draw your urgent attention to the extremely appalling situation in Yemen, caused by aggression, indiscriminate targeting of civilians and a blockade, imposing intolerable suffering on the Yemeni people and resulting in an unprecedented famine and outbreak and spread of cholera in that country. 

The war in Yemen, now in its third year, continues to exacerbate with no end in sight. The circumstances are pugnaciously swirling into a pandemonium of mass destruction and calamitous human suffering, while the war of aggression, itself, has become a quagmire for its initiators. Over 30 months of aggression against an already impoverished Yemen has claimed thousands of lives of civilians, in particular women and children, and brought about the destruction of Yemen’s civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools, roads, food factories and power plants, thus depriving civilians of their most basic necessities. Blocking of humanitarian access to an already famine-stricken Yemen and the decision to “close all Yemeni air, sea and land ports,” have further deteriorated the humanitarian nightmare in Yemen, that – as described recently by UN officials, could lead to "the largest famine the world has seen for many decades”.

The international accountability for committing war crimes and violating international humanitarian law falls upon the perpetrators who have sought and continue to seek a military solution for this crisis, notwithstanding their attempts to shift the blame and distract attention from their war of aggression. However, after more than two and a half years of blind attacks, the war initiators should have realized by now that “there is no military solution for Yemen”. 

It is the duty of the international community to get more responsibly and effectively engaged in ending the senseless war and establishing a ceasefire, ensuring delivery of humanitarian assistance and eventually restoring permanent peace in this country through dialogue and national reconciliation without preconditions. The Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized, from the beginning of this crisis, that the only way to restore peace and stability is to allow all Yemeni parties to establish, without any foreign interference, their own inclusive national unity government. 

I believe that it is long overdue to consider and implement the four-point plan that I proposed in my letter of 17 April 2015 addressed to your predecessor contained in document S/2015/263 right after the Saudi-led coalition initiated war on Yemen. Today, the same plan, which includes the following, remains to be applicable and indeed imperative in order to end this nightmare:

1. Ceasefire and immediate end to all military operations; 

2. Unimpeded urgent humanitarian and medical assistance to the people of Yemen;  

3. Resumption of Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned national dialogue, with the participation of the representatives of all political parties and social groups;  

4. Establishment of an inclusive national unity government.   

I am confident that you will urgently use your good offices to help make the necessary arrangement for conducting consultation with all concerned parties and expeditiously initiate a genuine dialogue to explore a political solution to this tragic crisis. In advancing this objective, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to continue to assist you and engage with you and all other relevant stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue so as to pursue and operationalize this peace plan. We also express our readiness to work with the United Nations in order to promptly dispatch the necessary humanitarian and medical assistance to the people in need in Yemen.
 

Leave a Comment

3 + 15 =