Iran's top leader calls for political solution to Yemeni war

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-14 04:43:14|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TEHRAN, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday called for ending the Yemeni war politically, official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran "has long proposed a plan to end war in Yemen, which, if implemented and ends the war in Yemen in a proper way, can have positive effects on the region," Khamenei said in a meeting with the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tehran.

The Iranian leader was alluding to Iran's "four-point peace plan for Yemen" which was submitted to the United Nations by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in April 2015.

"It is imperative for the international community to get more effectively involved in ending the senseless aerial attacks and establishing a cease-fire" in Yemen, Zarif wrote to the UN chief upon submitting Iran's plan.

Under the plan, Iran is ready to cooperate with the UN "to facilitate and encourage an immediate end to these senseless bombardments and initiation of a genuine dialogue to find a political solution to this tragic crisis," Press TV reported.

On Sunday, Khamenei said that West Asia is a "very sensitive and critical" region, expressing regret about what he called the "destructive role played by some regional countries" through their support for terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, causing a war and bloodshed in Yemen.

"We have no motivation for being hostile toward these countries, but they are under the influence of America and act against Iran in line with what America desires," he said.

Khamenei said that Iran has never initiated any war, stressing that however, "if someone starts a war against Iran, they will undoubtedly regret it."

For his part, the Pakistani prime minister said that Islamabad attaches importance to the security in the region and will maintain its relations and cooperation with Iran as a crucial partner.

In a joint press conference with Khan following their talks on Sunday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that they discussed the establishment of regional stability and sustainable peace, as the Middle East, particularly the Gulf and the Sea of Oman, is a very critical region in the world.

Rouhani said both Tehran and Islamabad believed that regional issues should be solved through political approaches and dialogue among countries, adding that cruel sanctions imposed by the United States against the Iranian people are an example of "economic terrorism."

He stressed that "the first step to ease tension in the region is the ceasefire in Yemen and the end of attacks against the country's oppressed people. Iran welcomes any move to that end."

Rouhani said that any tension or conflict in the region would benefit Israel.

Khan said that the main reason for his trip to Tehran is that his country does not "want a new conflict in this region."

He added that at a meeting held on the sidelines of the recent 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, U.S. President Donald Trump asked him to act as a "facilitator" between Iran and the United States.

There are difficulties on this path, but Islamabad would do its utmost to help lift sanctions against Iran and implement the Iran nuclear deal by all its signatories, he said.

Iran also welcomed Pakistan's mediation for talks with Saudi Arabia over the mutual issues in region and in Yemen.

"Iran has announced that it is always ready, with or without a mediator, to hold talks with its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, so that if there is any misunderstanding, it could be cleared," Abbas Mousavi, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Saturday ahead of Khan's arrival in Tehran.

Khan's official visit to Iran will be followed by his visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday as part of Islamabad's efforts to defuse increasing tensions in the Middle East.