Iran’s Foreign Ministry slams UK for huge arms exports to Saudi Arabia to pound Yemen

Tehran reaffirms support for Yemen’s unity, territorial integrity

May 1, 2020 - 17:53

TEHRAN — Tehran has reaffirmed its support for Yemen’s unity and territorial integrity, condemning Saudi Arabia for pushing Yemen on the brink of the worst humanitarian crisis, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

In a statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi pointed to recent developments in southern Yemen, stressing, “On the basis of its principled policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran supports a united Yemen with the territorial integrity of that country being protected.” 

On the declaration of self-rule in Yemen's south, the Iranian diplomat said, “Such measures not only do not help the settlement of the existing problems in Yemen but will also further complicate the situation in that country.” 

Mousavi then emphasized the necessity for a halt to the war on Yemen and lifting of the cruel blockade on Yemeni people, adding, “The only way for stability and calm in Yemen is unity among the Yemeni groups and holding inclusive political talks among various groups for the formation of a united and inclusive government.”

The remarks came after the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) last week declared a state of emergency and announced “self-administration rule” in Yemen’s southern regions, including the port city of Aden — which has served as the seat of Yemen’s former Riyadh-allied government during the Saudi-led war.

The declaration has raised concerns about escalation of tensions in impoverished country.

Meanwhile, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, a London-based group aimed at abolishing the international arms trade, has said leading UK arms dealer BAE Systems has sold Saudi Arabia £15 billion ($18.7 billion) worth of arms and services as Riyadh continues to wage a crippling war in Yemen now in its fifth year.

It found that the company made £2.5 billion from Saudi Arabia in 2019 alone and £15 billion between 2015 and 2019.

This makes the Saudi government BAE's third-largest client after the U.S. and UK, racking up earnings of £6.5 billion and £3.9 billion in 2019, respectively.

Osamah Alfakih, advocacy and communications director at Mwatana for Human Rights, told Anadolu Agency that UK-made weapons had been used by the Saudi and UAE-led coalition in “unlawful strikes” in Yemen.

Instead of playing a “positive role” in Yemen, the UK is fueling “armed conflict” with arms sales, Alfakih explained.

On Friday, Mousavi slammed the British government for exporting arms to Saudi Arabia, urging the UK to “stand on the rights side of history”.

“As the atrocities of the aggression push #Yemen on the brink of the worst humanitarian crisis, coupled w/ COVID19, the British Gvt. has profited from the arms export to the KSA & left the blood of innocent Yemenis on its hands. The UK must stand on the right side of history!” he tweeted.

MH/PA

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