Saudi Arabia rules out Iran talks on war-torn Yemen


Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Wednesday ruled out holding negotiations with Iran on resolving the five-year conflict in Yemen.

On Monday, an Iranian government spokesman said Riyadh had sent messages to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani through the leaders of other countries.

But al-Jubeir described the Iranian statement as “inaccurate”.

“What happened was that sister countries sought to calm the situation, and we told them that the position of the kingdom was to always seek security and stability in the region,” he said on Twitter.

“We also told them that de-escalation should come from the party that is escalating and spreading chaos,” he said.

In an interview with CBS News on Monday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia was open to all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen.

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran has mounted recently after attacks on two oil facilities of Aramco, an attack for which Riyadh and Washington held Tehran responsible, which the country has denied.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming Houthi rebels in Yemen, which overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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