Nuclear talks may be resuming in Vienna on Wednesday, but the Iranian regime’s message today is all about the crisis in Yemen.
Nine of the 12 lead stories on the English-language site of Fars News, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, are about the Yemeni civil war, the Saudi-led aerial intervention against the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement which controls the capital Sanaa, and Iran’s concern about Yemen’s civilians who are dying in the conflict.
Leaving Tehran for a summit in Indonesia on Tuesday morning, President Rouhani said, “The destruction of infrastructures of a poor country and killing children, women and men has no other meaning but the fact that a country has lost its balance and no other interpretation can be envisaged for it.”
Rouhani claimed that Saudi Arabia was trying to compensate for failures in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and North Africa through the bombing campaign which began almost a month ago.
He said that the international community should support Iran’s 4-point plan, formally submitted to the UN last Friday, for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and “national dialogue”.
Press TV leads with a statement from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as he met Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodriguez on Monday, “In Yemen, popular groups are being attacked and these assaults do not pertain to their faith.” He also upheld the Iranian 4-point plan as the way forward.
Other articles claim that a Saudi airstrike in Sanaa killed more than 40 people and injured 547, and that other civilians were slain by bombing on the Saudi-Yemeni border.
The Yemeni crisis escalated in February when Ansar Allah took control in Sanaa, with President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi fleeing to the southern port city of Aden and setting up an alternative Government. As Ansar Allah advanced on Aden, the Saudi-led coalition began its attacks.
Iran provides economic and political backing for Ansar Allah, but denies that it is supplying weapons and military advisors.
Meanwhile, the nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) re-open in Vienna on Wednesday. The two sides, represented by political deputies, are meeting for the first time since a framework for a comprehensive agreement was reached on April 2.
The deadline is June 30 for a final resolution of issues such as Iran’s level of uranium enrichment, the lifting of US, UN, and European sanctions, and a system of inspections and supervision.
Leading Student Activist Tavakoli Given 3-Day Furlough After 5 Years in Prison
Prominent student activist Majid Tavakoli has been given a three-day furlough after more than five years in prison.
Tavakoli was arrested just after giving a speech on National Students Day in December 2009. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison for “participating in an illegal gathering”, “propaganda against the system”, and “insulting officials”.
Tavakoli (second from left) with friends at Mehrabad Airport: