Saudi Arabia calls on Security Council to condemn Iranian-backed Houthi attack on Saudi oil tanker

NEW YORK, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia yesterday called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn the Iranian Al-Houthi attack on a Saudi oil tanker in international waters west of the port of Al-Hudaidah and to hold Al-Houthi militias and their Iranian sponsors accountable for their unlimited crimes against international law.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, in a letter addressed by its Permanent Mission to United Nations, the Kingdom called upon the Security Council to take all possible measures to ensure the speedy and comprehensive implementation of Security Council resolutions 2216 and 2231 to prevent the escalation of Al-Houthi attacks, which increased regional tensions and the risks of wider regional confrontation.

The letter said that, “On April 3rd, 2018, the Iranian-backed Al-Houthi militia in Yemen attacked a Saudi oil tanker in international waters west of the port of Al-Hudaidah. This attack was thwarted by the rapid intervention of a naval ship belonging to the Coalition for the Restoration of Legitimacy in Yemen, resulted in minor damage to the oil tanker, which sailed safely north with a coalition ship.”

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms this cowardly terrorist attack on the Saudi oil tanker, expressing its deep concern at the threats being posed by the relentless terrorist attacks by Al-Houthis on the freedom of maritime and international trade in Bab El-Mandab and the Red Sea region.

“Moreover, by launching this failed terrorist attack on the oil tanker, the Al-Houthi outlaws have also showed their indifference to the potential catastrophic environmental and economic consequences of the oil spill in the Bab al-Mandab and Red Sea areas, therefore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls on the Security Council to condemn this latest terrorist attack carried out by Al-Houthis as it calls on the Security Council to hold Al-Houthi militias and their Iranian sponsors accountable for their countless crimes against international law.”

The statement added, “On behalf of the Coalition for the Restoration of Legitimacy in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirms that the Coalition will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of maritime navigation and international trade in Bab El-Mandab and the Red Sea regions.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also reiterates the importance of placing the port of Al-Hudaidah under international supervision to prevent arms smuggling to Al-Houthis in violation of the arms embargo imposed by Security Council resolution 2216 and to prevent the use of the same port as a launching pad for terrorist attacks to threaten international maritime trade routes.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notes with regret that Al-Houthi ballistic missile attacks of 25th March 2018, which coincided with the visit of Martin Griffiths, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary -General to Yemen, to the Yemeni capital of Sana’a are a clear message following the assassination attempt on Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, in May 2017 for Al-Houthis’ rejection all United Nations-led peace efforts.”

It continued, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notes with concern that the ballistic missile attacks on March 25th, in addition to the recent naval attack were launched following the visit of the EU delegation to Sana’a on 19th March 2018.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reiterates that many concerned countries have warned against such visits to Al-Houthis as Al-Houthi interpreted such contacts as legitimising them, in particular legitimising Al-Houthi’s continued use of violence and refusing to engage in political dialogue with the legitimate government in Yemen as recognised in the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2216.

“The Kingdom Saudi Arabia also reiterates that Al-Houthi’s rejection of the political dialogue was strongly confirmed by Al-Houthi’s rejection of UN proposals to increase commercial and humanitarian shipments through the Red Sea ports, including new arrangements for the administration of Al-Hudaidah port and city, in addition to their rejection of agreeing to resume government salaries and maintain basic governmental services in all regions of Yemen.”

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notes with regret the extent to which Al-Houthis have stubbornly rejected such proposals, which would significantly improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen, warning that Al-Houthis will continue to refuse to engage in any political dialogue as long as they are ordered to do that by their sponsor, Iran,” the statement concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency