Tevhid Nazmi Basturk - Istanbul
Just days before United Nations brokered peace talks aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Yemen are set to take place, Iran has issued a threat against Saudi airstrikes under the pretense of damages suffered by the country’s embassy in Sanaa.
The threat made by Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gholamali Khoshroo, stated that “serious consequences” would result if airstrikes from the Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition continued to strike areas near the Iranian embassy.
Located in the center of the Yemeni capital, now occupied by Zaidi Shiite rebel forces, Khoshroo alleged that the Saudi-led airstrikes dealt “severe” damages to the Iranian compound on May 25 and April 20.
Iran’s threat to act against Saudi Arabia comes just days before Houthi leaders and the Yemeni government of the country’s exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, whose administration now operates out of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, are set to meet in Geneva.
The UN was able to convince both sides to take part in the talks at a neutral location without having any prior conditions, however the prospect looks bleak as clashes between Houthis, the forces of deposed Shiite President Ali Abdullah Saleh (who was ousted during the Arab Spring) and armed Sunni groups allied to the exiled government only continue to intensify.
As Houthi forces continue vying to take control of the cities of Taiz and Aden, Saudi-led airstrikes continue to strike both their positions in the south while also bombarding the Sanaa in the country’s center and the Houthi hub of Saada near the Saudi border as the death toll only continues to mount all across the country.
The United Nations reported that 2,288 people, 1,160 of whom were civilians were killed in the clashes in Yemen, though figures as to the allegiances of the dead are not clarified and a network of field activists to offer clear reports has not been set up to the extent of those existing in Syria and Iraq, making figures from officials from both sides of the conflict the only ones to go by.
The Human Rights Watch activist group condemned both parties in the conflict, Saudi Arabia for the use of cluster bombs and the Houthis for the “indiscriminant” shelling targeting and causing casualties in civilian towns across the border, all these one full month ago.
A week before the talks Saudi Arabia’s state run SPA news agency released a military statement reporting that Saudi Arabia’s military used Patriot anti-missile systems to shoot down a Russian make Scud missile launched by the Houthis into Saudi territory, raising tensions as to a Saudi ground invasion of the country to new heights as Houthi forces threatened to continue to volley of cross border attacks.
Though all parties to attend the talks agreed to do so without any pre-conditions, in the past Iran has presented the UN with peace-plans involving a unity government in which the Houthis have greater powers, a proposal the Sunni government and its Arab Spring inspired supporters entirely reject.
As for the Yemeni government, it was announced by Hadi’s spokesman on April 29 that the country would seek membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a move which would only further increase Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners’ role in the country.
Saudi Arabia, while on paper is said to be seeking ways for a diplomatic solution to the Yemeni conflict with allies Pakistan and Turkey, has made no effort to seek an end to its strikes on Houthi held areas where no clashes with government loyal forces take place.
Though the peace talks are set to resume in Switzerland on Sunday, none of the parties seem, albeit at the moment, to be actively seeking the diplomatic solution called for by the UN.Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Haziran 2015, 23:31