Iranian Official Raps UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji performed at the King Fahd Cultural Center

Saudi Arabia has taken an increasingly active stance in the region, trying to face down allies of rival power Iran, since Crown Prince Mohammed Salman became the power behind the throne.

"With respect to Saudi Arabia's engagement with Qatar, how they're handling the Yemen war that they're engaged in, the Lebanon situation, we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions to, I think, fully consider the consequences", Tillerson said. The coalition could not immediately be reached for comment.

The US has urged the Saudi-led coalition to "facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid" in Yemen as millions suffer in the war-torn country due to the land and air blockade imposed by the Saudis.

In a statement Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the "gravely concerned by the recent escalation in violence and continued dire humanitarian conditions in Yemen" and urged "all parties to immediately cease hostilities, reenergize political talks, and end the suffering of the Yemeni people".

The UN last month warned that Yemen faces a mass starvation that will affect millions of lives unless the Saudi-led coalition ends its blockade and allows aid deliveries into the country.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the killing of Saleh would likely worsen an already dire humanitarian situation in the country in the short term.

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is ready to restore ties with Saudi Arabia if it stops bombing Yemen and cuts its alleged ties with Israel.

In turn, Saudi Arabia has been unusually public about its concerns over US policy on Jerusalem.

Trump's statement came after the second consecutive night of Saudi airstrikes in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, as the Saudi-led coalition tried to prevent the Houthis from consolidating power in the city. About 8 million people are on the brink of starvation with outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who has called for restrictions on U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, said he expected the Kingdom to heed Trump's call.

Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Yemen's ports after a Huthi missile was sacked toward Riyadh airport on November 4.

The Trump administration also asked Saudi Arabia to temper its actions with regard to Qatar and Lebanon. After leaving Saudi Arabia, Hariri rescinded his resignation as world leaders committed to limiting Iranian-backed Hezbollah's control over Lebanon.



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