Riyadh, 24 Jumadil Akhir 1436/13 April 2015 (MINA) – Saudi Arabia has rejected calls by Iran to halt air strikes on neighbouring Yemen, saying Tehran should not interfere in the conflict, now in its second week.
Speaking at a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said on Sunday the aerial bombardment on Houthi positions seeks to help a “legitimate” government.
“How can Iran call for us to stop the fighting in Yemen … We came to Yemen to help the legitimate authority, and Iran is not in charge of Yemen,” al-Faisal told a joint news conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius, Al Jazeera quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began air strikes against Iranian-allied Houthi fighters in Yemen on March 26 to try to prevent them from expanding their control across the country.
The Houthis swept into the Yemeni capital Sanaa in September and in February put President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi under house arrest, demanding that he carry out political reforms.
Nine Arab countries, five of them members of the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), are part of the Saudi-led coalition, which is also backed by the United States.
Sunni Saudi Arabia feared the rebels would take over the entire country and move it into the orbit of Shia Iran. (T/P001/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)