Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 October 2019

Saudi, UAE, UK and US condemn Iran's role in Yemen

The four nations also expressed concerns about recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf. AFP
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf. AFP

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK and the US have come together to voice their concerns over Iran’s role in sowing discord in Yemen and the Middle East.

The members said that the recent escalation in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, using Iranian-made missiles and drones, was of great concern.

They condemned the Houthi attack on the civilian airport in Abha on June 12, in which 26 civilians were wounded.

The four countries called for an immediate end to attacks by the Houthis and noted that the World Food Programme has been forced to suspend food deliveries to Sanaa because the rebels had been stealing aid.

“We call on the Houthis to immediately end all restrictions on aid agencies to ensure the delivery of life-saving assistance to those Yemenis most in need,” the nations said.

“We reiterate our commitment to the Yemeni peace process and relevant Security Council resolutions. We express our full support for the UN special envoy, Martin Griffiths.”

The countries called on the rebels to engage constructively with Mr Griffiths on the implementation of the agreements reached in Stockholm.

The Houthis should enable full and unhindered access for the UN, the four countries said.

“We call on the Houthis to withdraw fully from the ports of Hodeidah, Ras Isa and Saleef," the four nations said.

"We look to the Security Council to review progress when they meet on July 17."

The four countries warned of dangers linked to Iran in the broader region, including attacks on the oil tankers at Fujairah on May 12 and in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.

The countries believed Iran was behind the attacks.

“These attacks threaten the international waterways that we all rely on for shipping," they said. "Ships and their crews must be allowed to pass through international waters safely.

"We call on Iran to halt any further action that threatens regional stability, and urge diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions.”

Tehran said it shot down a US drone on Thursday. The US says the drone was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

US President Donald Trump was taking military retaliation against Iran after the attacks but he pulled out, saying planned strikes would have killed at least 150 people.

Instead, Mr Trump reportedly ordered a cyber attack to disable computer systems controlling rocket and missile launchers, and was set to impose new sanctions on Tehran on Monday.

Updated: June 23, 2019 11:20 PM

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