Saudi UN ambassador denies Yemen embargo

UN says Saudi's closure of Yemen's seaports undoes progress in fight against famine and cholera

Saudi UN ambassador denies Yemen embargo

Yemeni officials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels, said the airport's runway had also been damaged, claiming fix crews were already at work. Women wait to fill up cooking gas cylinders outside a gas station amid supply shortage in Sanaa, Yemen November 7, 2017.

The United Nations on Tuesday dismissed a Saudi demand that tighter inspections be put in place at Yemen´s rebel-held Hodeida port before a devastating blockade is lifted.

Saudi Arabia is backing supporters of ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against rebels called the Houthis, who are backed by Iran and allied with militants supporting former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The top Iranian diplomat said, "Blocking of humanitarian access to an already famine-stricken Yemen and the decision to "close all Yemeni air, sea and land ports" have further deteriorated the humanitarian nightmare in Yemen".

After a November 4 ballistic missile attack near the Riyadh worldwide airport by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia had announced it shut down all ports in Yemen.

Seven million people are already on the brink of starvation, and the blockade will only bring them closer to it, OCHA warned.


Zarif's plan calls for "a ceasefire and an immediate end to all military operations, unimpeded urgent humanitarian and medical assistance to the people of Yemen, resumption of Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned national dialogue, with the participation of the representatives of all political parties and social groups, and establishment of an inclusive national unity government".

Although Iran denies backing the Houthi rebels, the Saudi-led coalition said it will continue to keep the seaport closed until the United Nations comes up with a program that ensures weapons intended for the Houthis do not make it into the country.

"The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by" Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the coalition backs, read the mission's statement.

On November 4 Saudi Arabia said it intercepted north or Riyadh is said was sacked from Yemen - blaming Iran for the incident, Saudi authorities accused Iran of "declaring war" on their country.

A man walks through rubble in the Yemeni city of Sa'ada following airstrikes in 2015.

Saudi Arabia and the USA have accused Iran of supplying the ballistic missile used in that attack.

Latest News