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  • 2/12/2013

Iran Rejects Yemen's Claims as Groundless


Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast categorically denied the accusations about arms shipment to Yemen as baseless, and reiterated that Tehran respects the regional stability and security.

Mehman-Parast's remarks came after several Yemeni officials, including the country's Interior Minister Abdel-Qader Kahtan, and the Saudi-led Yemeni media claimed that an Iranian ship seized by the Yemeni military contained weapons destined for Yemen's Houthi Community in the North of the country or as other Yemeni officials claimed for rebels in Somalia fighting the central government. 

"We have announced several times that we prioritize the region's stability and security, and underline the rights and national sovereignty of (other) countries," the Iranian diplomat said. 

Last week, Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi accused Iran of smuggling arms into the Arab country. The Yemeni government asked the United Nations to probe a seized ship it claims contained Iran-made weapons. 

Iranian officials on different occasions have strongly refuted Yemeni officials' allegations, saying that Iran attaches importance to maintaining security and stability of regional countries, specially Yemen. 

Last week, a Yemeni daily disclosed that the arms cargo confiscated off the country's coasts was headed for the rebel groups in Syria, dismissing the western media allegations that the weapons cargo was sent to the Yemeni rebels by Iran. 

Yemen's Aloulaye daily quoted informed sources as saying that the shipment of weapons and explosives which was intercepted off Yemen's coasts was sent from Ukraine and planned to be transferred to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel group.

The report said the ship started its voyage from Ukraine and was en route to Syria when it entered Yemen's water. 

The sources added on the condition of anonymity that the ship has entered Yemeni waters after receiving an official permission from a government department in Yemen and without the knowledge of the country's Defense Ministry which is the sole authority in charge of such permissions. 

The report came after Saudi-led media in Yemen had claimed that the ship was an Iranian vessel trying to smuggle explosives and surface-to-air missiles to the country. 

An informed source at the Iranian Foreign Ministry last week categorically denied the accusations as baseless and unfounded claims. 

The Saudi-backed Yemeni media quoted the country's officials as saying on Saturday that the ship was an Iranian vessel trying to smuggle explosives and surface-to-air missiles to the country. 

In reply, the Iranian Foreign Ministry source said "making such irresponsible claims is not in the interest of the two countries." 

The source underlined that Iran attaches great importance to stability and security of the regional states, Yemen in particular. 



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