Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said yesterday that the UN is in contact with Iran over the Iranian aid ship heading to Yemen, the Anadolu Agency reported.
"We have been in touch with the Iranian authorities," Dujarric told reporters during a press conference in New York. However, he did not give more detail about the nature of these contacts.
Regarding aid to Yemenis, Dujarric said: "We very much hope that all aid that countries are generously providing will be coordinated through the United Nations and through the international organisations we work with."
Meanwhile, he stressed on the importance of the Iranian role in solving the Yemeni crisis. "Obviously, Iran is a critical player in the Yemen crisis," he said.
He denied that the new UN delegate to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, had agreed on a date for the holding a conference for all Yemeni parties in Geneva. "We are ready for this meeting and when a date is set, we will immediately inform you," he told the reporters.
Regarding the UN participation in the Riyadh conference set to be held on 17 May, he said: "We will be present at the Riyadh conference, and we will participate, but it is not being led by the UN."
Iranian media reported that warships would escort the aid ship heading to Yemen. Iran said if the ship was intercepted, this would "ignite the flames of war".
Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri said: "I bluntly declare that the self-restraint of Islamic Republic of Iran is not limitless."
He added that Saudi Arabia, America and others "should be mindful that if they cause trouble for the Islamic Republic with regard to sending humanitarian aid to regional countries, it will spark a fire, which they'll be unable to put out."