Iran to halt weapon supplies to Houthis as part of deal with Saudi Arabia: Report

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Iran has reportedly agreed to cease covert weapons shipments to the Houthi militia in Yemen as part of the China-brokered agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic relations, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal citing US and Saudi officials.

Saudi Arabia and Iran announced last week that they had reached an agreement, brokered by China, to reestablish diplomatic relations.

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If Iran stops arming the Houthis, it could put pressure on the Tehran-backed militia to come to a deal to end the conflict in Yemen, the report said, citing US and Saudi officials.

Following the announcement of the agreement to re-establish diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, officials in both countries said that Iran would urge the Houthis to end attacks on Saudi Arabia, according to the report.

The deal to resume relations has raised hopes for a potential resolution to the Yemen conflict in the near future, the report cited a US official as saying.

Iran’s approach to the conflict will be a “litmus test” for the success of the Beijing-brokered detente, the official said.

The United Nations Yemen mediator urged the warring parties on Wednesday to “seize the opportunity” to take decisive steps toward peace and said momentum to end the conflict had been renewed by the deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“The parties must seize the opportunity presented by this regional and international momentum to take decisive steps towards a more peaceful future,” Hans Grundberg told the 15-member Security Council.

An Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in 2014.

The US and its allies have accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with missiles, drones and other weapons used in attacks on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemeni forces trying to defeat the Iran-backed militants.

Iran openly supports the Houthis politically, but denies any weapon transfers in violation of UN resolutions.

With AFP

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