Saudi ambassador to UN: Security Council inaction allowed Iran to arm Houthis

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Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi expressed concern on Friday, over the UN Security Council’s inaction in Yemen, which he said helped Iran arm the Houthi militias.

Mouallimi condemned the Houthis’ ongoing attacks against international navigation trade routes, the latest of which was the targeting of two Saudi oil tankers in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea, according to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

He said that it was unfortunate that the Security Council was not confronting the blatant violations of its resolutions.

The Houthi attack on Wednesday prompted Saudi Arabia to temporarily suspend oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb.

The European Union on Friday expressed its understanding of the Saudi decision, saying it is closely monitoring the development of events in the wake of the Houthi attack.

The French foreign ministry condemned that assault, underlining the importance of ensuring safety of marine navigation and security in the region.

In separate letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the president of the Security Council in July, Mouallimi said that the kingdom strongly condemns the Houthi militias for their ongoing Iran-backed terrorist attacks against international navigation trade routes.

“Saudi Arabia notes with regret the Security Council’s inaction …. which has allowed Iran to arm the terrorist Houthi militias with several ballistic missiles, drones and sea mines,” he continued.

“The Houthis have used and will continue to use these weapons, which they acquired through illegal means, to threaten Saudi borders, Middle Eastern stability and the safety of international navigation in the Red Sea and Mandeb Strait.”

Moreover, he voiced Saudi Arabia’s demand that all relevant Security Council resolutions be implemented to prevent the Houthis from using Yemen’s western Hodeidah port as a launchpad for their numerous terrorist attacks.

Such attacks are undermining the efforts of UN special envoy Martin Griffiths to reach a political solution in Yemen, Mouallimi warned.

He demanded that the Security Council take urgent measures to address the stockpile Houthi arms to “avert an escalation in their attacks that are stoking regional tensions and raising the risk of a broader regional confrontation.”

Griffiths, meanwhile, is set to announce on Thursday the launch of settlement talks in Yemen, revealed western sources to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

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