Rouhani at UN demands Saudis end war in Yemen


UNITED NATIONS: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday demanded that Saudi Arabia end its offensive in Yemen after an attack in the oil-rich kingdom which Washington blamed on Tehran.

“The security of Saudi Arabia will be guaranteed with the termination of aggression in Yemen, rather than by inviting foreigners,” he told the UN General Assembly.

Saudi Arabia is leading an air campaign aimed at defeating Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who control much of Yemen, contributing to a humanitarian crisis in which thousands of civilians have died and millions are on the brink of starvation.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for air attacks this month on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, but US officials blamed Iran and said the rebels did not have the range of sophistication to target the facilities.

Rouhani, mirroring US efforts to rally its Arab allies, invited regional countries to join a “Coalition for Hope” in which he said they would pledge non-aggression and non-interference in one another’s affairs.

“The security of the region shall be provided when American troops pull out,” Rouhani said.

“In the event of an incident, you and we shall not remain alone. We are neighbours with each other and not with the United States,” he said.