Tehran has strongly rejected a report carried by a Saudi newspaper alleging that an Iranian Foreign Ministry official recently visited the Yemeni capital.
Al Watan on Thursday claimed that Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaber Ansari had recently traveled to Sana’a for talks with leaders of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
“Fabrication of such news by Saudi media takes place while the route to Sana’a has been closed for several months and Saudi Arabia does not even allow Yemeni nationals to travel” to the city, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.
Al Watan had claimed that the Iranian official had asked the Houthis to announce the formation of a new government in cooperation with the Yemeni political party of General People’s Congress.
“Circulation of such news comes in line with Riyadh’s numerous instances of prevarication in the wake of their recurrent and back-to-back defeats during their military invasion of Yemen," Qassemi said.
Yemen’s military and allied Ansarullah and popular forces regularly target pro-Saudi militants inside Yemen and troops in the kingdom's southwest.
Saudi Arabia has been waging a military campaign against Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to the former Yemeni government, a close ally of Riyadh.
The UN said in late August that more than 10,000 people have lost their lives since last March. The Saudi military is blamed by the world body and prominent rights groups for most of the civilian deaths in the impoverished country.
Iran has called the invasion a strategic mistake that upsets the security situation in the Middle East. The country is opposed to foreign meddling in Yemen's domestic affairs.
Late last month, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam-Ali Khoshrou addressed the UN Security Council, rejecting claims that Tehran was arming Ansarullah.
He said Saudi accusations to this effect were “quite astounding” as Riyadh itself has invaded Yemen and used “a full variety of lethal weapons against Yemen’s civilians and civilian infrastructure.”