April 1, 2015 / 8:46 AM / 4 years ago

Iran asks U.N.'s Ban to press for end to Yemen strikes

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the opening meeting of the Arab Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Iran’s deputy foreign minister has asked United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to do everything possible to immediately halt Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen, state news agency IRNA reported.

“The military path in Yemen is doomed to failure. National dialogue without external meddling is the only political solution,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying.

Abdollahian and Ban spoke on the sidelines of an international conference in Kuwait aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in Syria, IRNA reported.

Saudi Arabia launched air strikes a week ago against Shi’ite Houthi fighters who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa and are battling to take the southern port city of Aden - the last stronghold of supporters of Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Riyadh says Iran has provided military support to the Houthis, a charge Tehran denies. The Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia also support rival forces in the four-year civil war in Syria and in neighbouring Lebanon.

Iran says Saudi Arabia’s intervention in its southern neighbour is a strategic mistake.

“We cannot allow the flames of war to be fanned and the shared security of the region to be jeopardised by further strikes,” Abdollahian told Ban, according to IRNA.

Reporting by Sam Wilkin in Dubai; editing by John Stonestreet

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