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    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

    Iranian Foreign Minister Calls for Urgent Humanitarian Assistance in Yemen

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    As Saudi-led airstrikes were called off on Tuesday, the Iranian government said it is "ready to help" in dealing with the aftermath.

    Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran's Foreign Minister, called for "urgent humanitarian assistance" for Yemenis after the Saudi-led coalition carrying out air strikes against Houthi-controlled targets announced on Tuesday that it was ending the military phase of its operation to restore ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is currently residing in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

    In a tweet on Tuesday, Zarif called the decision to halt the airstrikes, which began on March 26, a positive development which needed to be followed by international intervention, saying that Iran is "ready to help."

    At a press conference on Tuesday, Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition forces carrying out 'Operation Decisive Storm' said that the operation would be moving into a political phase called 'Operation Restoring Hope,' which "represents  a combination of political, diplomatic and military action."  

    A jet takes off to participate in the Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, at an airbase in an undisclosed location in Saudi Arabia in this April 2, 2015 picture provided by Saudi Press Agency. Picture taken April 2, 2015
    © REUTERS / Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters
    "The operation has been stopped following the request of President Hadi and the country's lawful government," said Asiri, adding that the change did not signal a ceasefire and the coalition could use force again if it deemed it necessary.

    "The coalition will continue to prevent the Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen," General Asiri told reporters in Riyadh.

    The Iranian government had repeatedly called for an end to the campaign of airstrikes, which has been carried out by a coalition of ten Arab states. On April 17, Zarif wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proposing a four-point peace plan for Yemen, calling for an immediate ceasefire and "the establishment of an inclusive national unity government" without foreign interference.


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