Iran says normalization with Saudi Arabia will help end war in Yemen

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Iran’s mission to the United Nations said on Sunday the breakthrough rapprochement agreement with Saudi Arabia normalizing ties will help bring about a political resolution to the war in Yemen, state news agency IRNA reported.

The Iranian UN mission said: “The restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran [will] accelerate the ceasefire, help start a national dialogue, and form an inclusive national government in Yemen,” IRNA reported.

Saudi Arabia and Iran announced on Friday a landmark agreement brokered by China to re-establish diplomatic ties and reopen embassies after seven years of heightened tensions, backing opposing sides in regional conflicts and supporting differing parties in political rows across the Middle East.

Gulf countries have long accused Iran of fanning the flames of violence in the Middle East through financial and military support to its network of Shia proxies in the region, specifically in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

The war in Yemen, since its eruption in 2014, has been a battlefield where the two warring sides were backed by Riyadh on one hand and Tehran on the other. Saudi Arabia backed the internationally recognized Yemeni government and formed an Arab Coalition to support it militarily against the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

It has been long-established by both Arab and Western governments that Iran provided weapons to the Houthi militia – which the latter used to carry out cross-border attacks mainly targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE. US and British navies in the region have repeatedly over the years intercepted many shipments of Iranian-made weapons on vessels heading to Yemen.

The Chinese-mediated major diplomatic breakthrough has been touted by analysts far and wide as a giant stride towards the end of several regional armed conflicts.

The Iranian mission’s statement said: “The relations between Riyadh and Tehran are important at three bilateral, regional, and international levels. The restoration of political ties between the two countries will be positive at all three levels, including West Asia and the Islamic world.”

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