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At UNGA, Yemen Says Iran Stands In The Way Of Peace

Yemeni Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadrami addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)

In the wake of a Houthi attack in Yemen Saturday (September 28), the country's foreign minister used his address to the United Nations General Assembly Saturday (September 28) to focus blame on Iran.

Houthi movement said on Saturday it had carried out a major attack near the border with the southern Saudi region of Najran and captured many troops and vehicles, but there was no immediate confirmation from Saudi Arabian authorities.

While Reuters could not independently verify the claim, Yemeni government troops, supported by coalition air strikes, have in recent months been fighting Houthi forces in the Kataf region of the northern Saada province near the Saudi border. Local sources have said the Houthis had captured scores of Yemeni forces in the battles.

The violence could hamper United Nations' efforts to ease tensions and pave the way for talks to end the war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions to the brink of famine in the long-impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation.

The blame for Yemen is clear.

"Iran has sown havoc, has wrought havoc, both for the Arab Peninsula, has created, has trained armed and financed Houthi militias who have been brandishing the slogans of the Iranian revolution and they have embraced an approach based on abuse, repression and torture," Yemeni Foreign Minister, Mohammad al-Hadrami, told the GA.

At UNGA, Yemen Says Iran Stands In The Way Of Peace
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The conflict in Yemen has become a proxy for the region at large.

Saudi Arabia is in consultation "with friends and allies about the next steps to take" after a Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, but is waiting for the findings of an investigation before action.

The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed the attack on Iran, instead of the Yemeni Iran-aligned Houthi group that claimed responsibility. Iran distanced itself from the attacks, but said it was ready for "full-fledged" war.

"We condemn this terrorist attack," al-Hadrami said at the UN. "We reaffirm the fact that the perpetrators of these attacks need to be held to account. This is not merely an attack targeting Saudi Arabia. It is an attack against the international community."

The inability to implement last year's UN-backed peace deal was also on al-Hadrami's mind.

"The solution rather lies in prompting these militias to implement the agreement and honoring the obligations they have assumed before the whole world," he said.