Zarif says ready to visit Riyadh to reduce regional tension

October 21, 2019 - 17:41

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said he is ready to visit Riyadh to resolve disputes with Saudi Arabia if conditions are ripe.

“Iran welcomes any initiative to reduce tension in the region, and we are ready to cooperate with any step to end the war in Yemen,” Zarif said on Monday, News1 reported.

“Iran will always stand by the Yemeni people, and we believe that ending the war will help the Yemeni people at first glance,” he added.

He pointed out that “contacts are continuing with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the situation in Yemen,” reiterating Iran’s readiness to help end the war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its vassal states launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the Riyadh-backed former regime of Mansour Hadi and eliminate the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed the country’s infrastructure and led to a massive humanitarian crisis.

On September 14, Yemeni armed forces conducted a large-scale operation against two Aramco installations, knocking out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement took responsibility for the attacks and stressed that they came in response to the Saudi-led war on their country. However, Riyadh and Washington — the main sponsor of the war on Yemen — pointed the finger at Iran, without providing any evidence.

Iran, however, flatly rejected the allegations.

In the meantime, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said last week that Iran will be ready to act as a mediator on the issue of Yemen if Saudi Arabia accepts a political solution.

“If Saudis accept the political solution, Iran will mediate on the Yemen issue. However, the United States imagines that the time to stop milking Saudi Arabia has not come yet,” Larijani said during a meeting with Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth on the sidelines of 41st summit of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also said that ending the war in Yemen will have positive effects on the Middle East.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran presented a four-point plan to end the war in Yemen a long time ago and if this war ends in a right way, it can have positive effects in the region,” the Leader said on October 13, during a meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.