PHOTO: Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami “US gave Saudis something worse than a blank check”

Iran maintained its campaign against the US and Saudi Arabia over Yemen’s civil war on Friday, with prayer leaders proclaiming Washington’s backing of deadly Saudi bombing.

Tehran has stood against the Saudis throughout Yemen’s conflict and Riyadh’s military intervention from March 2015. However, the rhetoric tying the US to Saudi Arabia has escalated since last Saturday’s bombing of a funeral reception in the Yemeni capital Sana’a which killed at least 140 people and wounded hundreds.

Pro-Saudi outlets said that the strikes had killed leading members of the Ansar al-Allah (Houthi) movement, which took control of Sana’a in early 2015, as they mourned the father of the Interior Minister. However, the Saudi military denied that it carried out the attack.

Tension rose further with missile launches aimed at a US warship on Sunday and Wednesday, and US retaliation on Thursday with three missile strikes destroying radar.

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The Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, blamed the US and Britain for supporting “Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen”. Responding to a cautious US staetement after the bombing that “security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check”, Khatami said:

US drones have supported the crimes of Saudi Arabia around the clock….You have actually given Saudi Arabia something worse than a blank check.

Khatami condemned the silence of international human rights organizations over the killing of civilians, “Neither human beings nor human rights are important to them.”

In Shiraz, prayer leader Ayatollah Asadollah Imani said America’s “70-year relationship with Saudi Arabia will not be destroyed easily”. He explained, “[The US] has announced clearly that it is not on the side of Saudi Arabia [over the airstrike, but] the U.S. fired missiles at Yemen in order to demonstrate its commitment.”

And in Ahvaz, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Mousavi Jazayeri expressed his hope that Saudi Arabia will “be punished as soon as possible and that we can witness the victory of the Yemeni people”.