Iran Not to Allow Inspection of Yemen-Bound Aid Ship: Spokeswoman
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Wednesday stressed that Tehran will not allow any country involved in Yemen conflict to inspect the Iranian cargo ship carrying humanitarian aid for people of war-torn Yemen.
“The countries involved in Yemen war will not be permitted to inspect the ship carrying Islamic Republic of Iran’s humanitarian aid,” Afkham said, in a reference to “Nejat” (Rescue) ship that is heading to Yemeni port of Hodeida to deliver 2500 tons of humanitarian aid to the crisis-hit country.
She further slammed the “vindictive” blockade of Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition, which has lasted for almost 50 days, saying that the siege has put the country on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.
In recent days, Iran has conferred with respective international bodies on the necessity for immediate dispatch of food and medical aid to Yemen, Afkham announced.
She went on to say that Iran has already started sending its aid to the Arab country, and expressed the hope that it would reach Yemeni people as soon as possible in coordination with UN Secretariat’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In similar remarks on Tuesday, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said no one has the right to inspect the cargo ship, stressing that based on international regulations, no one can inspect a vessel that is moving in international waters carrying the flag of a country.
The IRCS is a non-political organization and never pays attention to political issues, Amir Mohsen Ziya’ee said, reaffirming that the mission of the Iranian aid ship, which is loaded with relief supplies, is purely humanitarian.
The remarks came in reaction to earlier claims by the Saudi military who said Saudi naval forces have the right to inspect the Iranian ship.
Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmad al-Assiri had claimed on Tuesday that it is Saudi Arabia’s right to check the Iranian cargo.
Nejat ship filled with humanitarian supplies for Yemen is sailing in the international waters south of Iran to deliver the consignment of foodstuff and medicine to the war-hit people of Yemen, who are under a siege imposed by a Saudi-led coalition.
The ship's journey came after Yemen agreed to a five-day truce proposed by Saudi Arabia and started on Tuesday.
The ceasefire, which is to allow humanitarian aid in, came into force at 11pm (2000 GMT) on Tuesday.
On March 26, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies began to launch deadly air strikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Some seven weeks of deadly aerial attacks on Yemen have killed over 3,500 people and left some 6,200 others injured.