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Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen as 'dangerous step'

TEHRAN: Iran condemned regional rival Saudi Arabia on Thursday for launching air strikes on Huthi rebels in Yemen, saying it was “a dangerous step” that violated “international responsibilities and national sovereignty.”

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that the military action would “further complicate the situation, spread the crisis and remove opportunities for a peaceful resolution of Yemen’s internal differences.”

“This aggression will have no result except to spread terrorism and extremism, and increase insecurity throughout the region,” she said in a statement, calling for an immediate halt to the air strikes.

Her comments were echoed by Alaedin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, who accused Saudi Arabia of irresponsibility.

“The fact that Saudi Arabia has fanned the flames of a new war in the region shows its carelessness,” he said, in comments carried by the Fars news agency.

“The smoke of this fire will go into the eyes of Saudi Arabia as war is never limited to one place only. We hope this military operation will be halted immediately and the Yemen problem solved through political means.”

The Huthis and their allies within the armed forces had been closing in on Yemen’s main southern city Aden where embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has been holed up since fleeing the rebel-controlled capital Sanaa last month.

The advance had raised fears in Saudi Arabia that the Shiite minority rebels would seize control of the whole of its Sunni-majority neighbour and take it into the orbit of Shiite Iran.

Boroujerdi accused the United States of backing the Saudi air strikes.

“America, which leads the fire mongering in the region, has supported this act and no doubt Saudi Arabia and some countries in the Arab cooperation council would not get involved without America’s permission,” he said.

“Having imposed long years of crisis in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, America has in practice started another crisis and massacre on the Islamic world and this act is strongly condemned,” he added. -AFP

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