A man lies in a hospital bed after he was injured in Saudi airstrikes targeting a funeral hall, in Sana’a, Yemen, October 10, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Tehran has urged the United Nations to adopt expeditious mechanisms aimed at facilitating the shipment of Iranian humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen.
Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks on Monday in a meeting with the world body’s Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien.
The meeting was focused on a letter by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in which he urged the world body to help the implementation of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s proposal to send humanitarian aid to the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, after a Saudi air raid killed over 140 civilians and wounded over 520 others during a funeral there.
In the letter, Zarif had also expressed “shock and disgust” over the October 9 massacre.
During the talks, Khoshroo further said many of those injured in the air raid are in critical condition, warning that any delay in the provision of medical services to the injured would lead to a rise in the number of fatalities.
Iran wants the United Nations to help pave the way for the dispatch of the Islamic Republic’s relief aid to Yemen and the transfer of the injured to Iranian hospitals for treatment, the Iranian diplomat emphasized.
O’Brien, in turn, said the bulk of international aid is transferred to Yemen through a UN-established mechanism and on the back of coordination with the Saudi forces at war against the country.
Past experience has, however, proven such coordination for aerial transfer of aid to be difficult and complicated, the UN official added.
Yemeni mourners attend on October 10, 2015, the funeral of Abdel Qader Hilal (portrait), the mayor of Sana’a, who was killed in a Saudi airstrike on a funeral in the Yemeni capital three days ago. (Photo by AFP)
The death toll from the airstrike was one of the largest from a single incident since March 2015, when the Riyadh regime began its deadly campaign to crush the Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement and their allies and bring back to power the former Yemeni government, a close ally of the kingdom.
The offensive has so far left more than 10,000 people dead.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on Monday, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric also said the UN chief is reviewing Zarif’s message.
He said UN officials want humanitarian aid to cross into Yemen with no obstacles, “unfortunately, though, this is not possible at the moment.”