US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the crisis in Yemen with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the international nuclear negotiations in Switzerland, US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said at a press briefing on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Following Houthis' advance in Yemen and calls from Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi for a military intervention, the Saudi Arabia-led Arab Gulf states and Egypt began striking Houthi positions. The coalition has said it may introduce ground troops in Yemen.
On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the Saudi-led military intervention saying it is “very dangerous and deepens the crisis."
Without participating in the offensive, the United States is backing its Arab allies and has agreed to provide logistical and intelligence support for the military operation.
“Secretary Kerry… met with their Iranian counterparts, and following that meeting the Secretary met one on one with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif,” Rathke said. “Secretary Kerry did briefly raise Yemen with his Iranian counterpart, but let me stress this was not and is not the focus of [nuclear] talks.”
Aid by the United States to the Yemeni military for operations against al-Qaeda was described by US President Barack Obama in September 2014 as a successful example of US counter-terrorism efforts.
The Shiite Houthi militants forced President Hadi and his government to resign in late January 2015 after taking over the capital in September 2014. The group then dissolved Yemen's parliament and announced the forming of a Presidential Council. Hadi, who was placed under house-arrest in Sanaa, fled to the port city of Aden in February, and disavowed his resignation.
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