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Yemen: Iranian envoy says Saudi peace plan prolongs war and occupation 

Iranian ambassador Hassan Eyrlo attends a vigil in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, on January 2, 2021 [MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images]
Iranian ambassador Hassan Eyrlo attends a vigil in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, on January 2, 2021 [MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran's ambassador to Sanaa has dismissed Saudi Arabia's proposed ceasefire in Yemen as a front for perpetuating the war and occupation in the country.

"The Saudi initiative in Yemen is a project of permanent war and occupation and war crimes, and it is not the end of the war," wrote Hasan Irlu on Twitter. "A true initiative means that the war is completely stopped, the blockade is fully lifted, the occupation ends, Saudi military forces are withdrawn, mercenaries and takfiris are no longer supported by [large sums of] money and weapons, and political dialogue is held between Yemenis without any foreign interference."

Irlu was appointed as Tehran's envoy in the Yemeni capital in October last year. Iran and Syria are the only countries which recognise the de facto Houthi-led administration known as the National Salvation Government (NSG).

READ: 100 days without Yemen envoy to US, as PM 'flees' to Saudi

On Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud presented a peace initiative intended to end the six-year war. The proposal includes a nationwide ceasefire and the reopening of air and sea links.

"The initiative aims to end the human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people, and affirms the Kingdom's support for efforts to reach a comprehensive political resolution," said the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

However, the proposal was rejected by the Houthi movement's chief negotiator. "We expected that Saudi Arabia would announce an end to the blockade of ports and airports and an initiative to allow in 14 ships that are held by the coalition," Mohammed Abdulsalam told Reuters. "Opening the airports and seaports is a humanitarian right and should not be used as a pressure tool."

The re-opening of Sanaa Airport and the lifting of the blockade on the port of Hodeidah are long-standing demands of the NSG. On Friday, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council, the executive body of the Sanaa government, reiterated that any ceasefire is contingent upon the reopening of commercial flights to the city's airport and the lifting of restrictions on cargo ships at the vital seaport.

READ: Houthis claim drone attack on Saudi Abha Airport

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