Iran says could cooperate with Saudi to solve Yemen crisis

Militants loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi man a checkpoint on a street in the country's southern port city of Aden March 30, 2015. (Reuters)

Iran wants all parties in Yemen to return to calm and dialogue, Tehran's deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Tuesday, adding the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia could work together to solve the conflict there.

"Iran and Saudi Arabia can cooperate to solve the Yemeni crisis," Abdollahian told reporters in Kuwait, speaking through a translator. "We recommend all parties in Yemen return to calm and dialogue".

Asked whether Iran had any channels of communication with its regional rival, Abdollahian told Reuters: "We are trying". Abdollahian gave no details but, asked whether Tehran had a plan for resolving the war, he replied: "We have a proposal".

Meanwhile, Iran sent a shipment of non-military aid to Yemen on Tuesday, the first since Saudi-led coalition air strikes started last week, state television reported.

"The shipment being sent includes 19 tonnes of medicine and health equipment, vital items and two tonnes of food," said Dr Nasser Charkhsaz, director of the Iranian Red Crescent.

The report said the shipment was sent by air, but it did not say to where.

Iran, the region's dominant Shiite power, meanwhile rejected claims that it had sent arms to Yemen, where the Huthis -- whom Saudi Arabia accuses Tehran of backing -- are under attack from the air.

Such reports are "completely manufactured and utter lies", ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted on the official IRNA news agency as saying.

"These claims cannot in any way justify a military strike on Yemen," she said.

"Since our (aviation) agreement we have had a few civilian flights carrying medical and hygienic aid to Sanaa and the cargos have been delivered to Yemen's Red Crescent."

Afkham said Iran was ready to help treat the wounded in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition has vowed to keep up its bombing raids until the rebels abandon their insurrection against President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh.

Hadi also accuses the rebels, who overran the capital last year and have since advanced across much of the country, of being supported by Iran.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47