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Iran Claims U.S. Responsible For 'Atrocities' Via Support for Saudi Arabia

November 26, 2017

Iran has accused the United States of being responsible for "atrocities" in Yemen through its support for Saudi Arabia, which has backed the Yemeni government in the country's three-year civil war.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said on November 26 that a recent White House statement in support of Riyadh and a Saudi-led coalition fighting against Shi'ite Yemeni rebels "clearly and without question proves America's participation and responsibility" in what Tehran described as "atrocities committed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen."

In its November 24 statement, the White House said it was "committed to supporting Saudi Arabia and all our Gulf partners against the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' aggression and blatant violations of international law."

Ghassemi denied that Iran has "any military connection with Yemen."

Iran is ruled by conservative Shi'ite clerics while Tehran's archrival in the region, Saudi Arabia, is a Sunni Muslim majority kingdom.

The two Persian Gulf states back opposing sides in conflicts from Yemen to Syria.

Tensions spiked recently between Tehran and Riyadh after Shi'ite Huthi rebels allied with Iran launched a thwarted ballistic missile attack on the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Tehran of "direct aggression" after the missile was intercepted on November 4 before it hit any targets. Iran denied involvement in the attack.

Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler also called the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "the new Hitler of the Middle East" in an interview with the New York Times published on November 23.

Ghassemi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, on November 24 accused the Saudi crown prince of "immature, inconsiderate, and baseless remarks and behavior."

Tehran and Riyadh cut diplomatic relations in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in reaction to Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

With reporting by AFP and IRNA

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-claims-u-s- atrocities-saudi-yemen/28877737.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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