Iran complains to Red Cross after Saudis block flights to Yemen


Iran’s Foreign Ministry has complained to the International Committee of the Red Cross that humanitarian aid sent to Yemen was blocked by Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called Peter Maurer, the president of the ICRC, after a second Iranian aid plane was turned back by Saudi Arabian jets on Friday, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

“In the past two days, two planes carrying wounded Yemenis who had being treated, and also humanitarian and pharmaceutical aid, were on their way to Yemen,” Amir-Abdollahian said. “Unfortunately, after the illegal interference of Saudi Arabia in Yemeni airspace, they received a warning and were forced to return to Iran.”

On Thursday, Saudi fighter jets warned off another Iranian cargo plane which was also carrying wounded Yemenis and humanitarian aid, according to Iranian media.

The United Nations Security Council last week banned arms deliveries to the Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen. After the embargo was passed, the U.S. dispatched an additional aircraft carrier to the Arabian Sea, and President Barack Obama said Iran has been warned about sending weapons.