The Iranian Foreign Ministry says the United States is resorting to blame game to try and deflect attention from its crimes in Yemen, including its deadly arms support for the Saudi-led invaders of the impoverished country.
Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks in a statement on Wednesday in response to an earlier attempt by the top US diplomat to implicate Iran in Yemen’s crisis and level serious accusations against the Arabian Peninsula country’s popular Ansarullah movement.
This March, the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen will enter its seventh year.
The kingdom and its allies have been waging the offensive to restore power to Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government, whose officials had fled the country before the invasion amid a power struggle and refused to stay behind and negotiate.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died and the whole Yemen turned into what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in the course of the Saudi-led war.
To help Saudi Arabia — the United States’ most treasured regional ally after the Israeli regime — former US president Donald Trump poured out advanced and precision arms and munition into the kingdom.
Khatibzadeh said the United States and its allies “have been reaping benefit from blood trade in Yemen by selling arms to the Saudi-led coalition.”
Now, although both the invaders and their backers have realized that their inhumane military campaign has been frustrated, “they still try to disavow responsibility for the atrocities and misdirect the public opinion,” he said.
“The Americans [among them] cannot throw baseless accusations at others instead of being accountable for the atrocities,” he noted.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday accused Iran of “involvement” in Yemen and claimed that Ansarullah was using Iranian backing.
Washington as well as its regional and extra-regional allies have been coming up with such accusations against Tehran and the Yemeni group on countless occasions since the beginning of the war.
Both the Islamic Republic and the Ansarullah movement have, however, invariably met such claims with categorical rejection.
Khatibzadeh said despite Washington’s continued prevarication, the world and the Yemeni people would never forget the atrocities carried out by the invaders and their supporters, whose notoriety would go down in history.
Blinken also reiterated a recent assertion by US President Joe Biden that Washington would still help Riyadh “defend” itself.
The assertion that could translate into persisting American patronage for the invaders struck a contradictory note with the US president’s earlier claims that he would end Washington’s backing for the war.
The Iranian official expressed regret that the Biden administration’s alleged expression of interest in chocking up its support for the war had not been followed by any meaningful action or changes on the ground.
“We have not yet witnessed any practical measures aimed at the cessation of the Saudi-led coalition’s invasion,” he said, adding that the Biden administration was following the same policy towards Yemen as his predecessor’s.
The Islamic Republic has, however, emphasized that Yemen’s crisis could not be resolved through any military solution, the spokesman said.
He recalled a four-point proposal that Iran forwarded to the UN, only a month after the beginning of the invasion, that recommended cessation of hostilities, removal of a siege that the invaders have been enforcing on Yemen, transfer of humanitarian aid to Yemen’s oppressed people, and holding intra-Yemeni talks.
According to Khatibzadeh, Iran still stands by the proposal, while both trying its utmost to help end the crisis and welcoming any effort that could return peace and stability to the violence-weary country.