UN Envoy, Iranian FM Discuss Turmoil in Yemen
Nearly three years after becoming the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths on Monday traveled for the first time to Iran, meeting Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif to discuss the ongoing Yemeni civil war. According to a UN statement issued after the meeting, the two diplomats “exchanged views” on how to work toward resuming the political process in Saana, and agreed on “the urgent need” for a “nationwide cease-fire.” A Saudi-led coalition of Arab states intervened in Yemen in 2015 to reinstate ousted president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was overthrown by the Shiite, Iran-backed Houthi movement. The proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran has since devolved into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Last week, United States President Joe Biden called on the sides to resolve the conflict diplomatically, while promising to end Washington’s support to the Saudi coalition. Biden stressed the importance of protecting Riyadh from Houthi aggression, but reversed his predecessor’s designation of the group as a terror organization, acknowledging the UN’s concerns of the humanitarian fallout of such a move.