By Ahmet Dursun
Iran has welcomed a ceasefire agreement signed between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels following one week of peace talks in Stockholm.
In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi described the preliminary agreement as “positive”.
“It shows that both sides understand the catastrophic situation faced by the innocent people of Yemen as a result of the conflict,” Qassemi said.
He went on to voice hope that Yemen’s Al-Hudaydah seaport -- along with Sanaa’s international airport -- would soon be ready to receive international humanitarian aid.
According to Qassemi, Tehran believes that Yemen’s years-long crisis can only be resolved through direct talks between the two warring parties.
The Houthis recently signed a cease-fire deal with Yemen’s Aden-based government, vowing to withdraw their forces from the western Al-Hudaydah province during the UN-backed peace talks in Sweden, which began on Dec. 6.
Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa and the key port city of Al-Hudaydah.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.