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UK calls on Iran to stop escalating Yemen war

UK British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson [Financial Times/Flickr]
UK British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson [Financial Times/Flickr]

Britain has called on Iran to stop fuelling the Yemen conflict, Reuters reported today.

“I call on Iran to cease activity which risks escalating the conflict and to support a political solution to the conflict in Yemen,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement.

“I also call on all parties to the conflict to abide fully by applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

The remarks come off the back of a 329-page United Nations report published last week, submitted to the Security Council, that warns of “missile remnants” found in Yemen whose origins were traced back to Iran.

The Yemen civil war intensified after the Houthis took over the capital Sana’a in late 2014 alongside former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces. The Saudi-led coalition was invited to defeat the Houthis and push them back towards the north of Yemen in March 2015. The Houthis have repeatedly reported firing ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia.

Late last year, the United States unveiled evidence which it says proves Iran is supplying Yemen’s Houthis with weapons which are used to strike Saudi Arabia. The evidence was retrieved by US partners, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both of whom are party to the conflict in Yemen.

Early this month, Russia’s United Nations envoy contested the evidence claiming that the US does not have sufficient evidence to prove Iran has supplied weapons to the Houthis.

The UK is currently supporting Saudi Arabia with arms sales, which are used in controversial air strikes in Yemen. Despite calls by human rights groups to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia over war crimes allegations, the UK High Court last year held it was “lawful” to continue. More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict to date.

Last week, the UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Martin Griffiths as the new envoy in Yemen. His main task will be to broker a peace deal in the ongoing Yemen civil conflict, which Oman has already signalled willingness to host.

Read: 10,000 Saudi soldiers being trained in Pakistan

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