1151 GMT February 23, 2020
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi on Monday said the unilateral withdrawal of the military forces of the Ansarullah-led government, known as the National Salvation Government of the Republic of Yemen, from the ports of Hodeida, Ras Isa and Salif was a constructive move.
He added that the implementation of the Stockholm agreement would pave the way for achieving a political, inclusive and final solution to the Yemeni crisis, Press TV reported.
The United Nations said on Sunday that the withdrawal of Houthi forces from the three key ports in Yemen is proceeding “in accordance with established plans” for a second day, as the Saudi-backed former government still refuses to pull out its besieging forces from Hodeida in line with an accord the two sides reached in Sweden last year.
Yemen’s Ansarullah movement is in control of the ports, which have been under a tight siege by the country’s former Saudi-backed government, led by ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, since June last year.
In December 2018, representatives from the Houthi Ansarullah movement and the Riyadh-sponsored government of Hadi reached the truce deal during UN-mediated peace talks in Sweden.
Under the deal, they agreed on the withdrawal of their troops and the deployment of UN monitors to Hodeida, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian spokesperson said, "The Sana’a government’s move to save the Stockholm deal signifies the Yemeni National Salvation Government’s determination and commitment to dialogue and honoring its obligations on the one hand, and indicates the Saudi-backed coalition’s obstructionism and lack of commitment to this agreement on the other hand."
Mousavi pointed to many acts of obstructionism by forces backed by the Saudi-Emirati coalition and said, "The United Nations and influential countries must exert pressure on the coalition to live up to its obligations and stop its acts of obstructionism aimed at halting the implementation of the Stockholm agreement.”
Leading a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Hadi, who had resigned amid popular discontent and fled to Riyadh, and to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been significantly helping the Yemeni Army against a Saudi-led military coalition for the past four years.
The imposed war initially consisted of an aerial campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground mercenaries to Yemen. Furthermore, armed militia forces loyal to Hadi, in line with invaders, launch frequent attacks against Yemeni people in regions held by Houthis.
The aggression is estimated to have left 56,000 Yemenis dead.