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Zarif: US accountable for crimes against Iran, Yemen

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States should be held responsible for “crimes against humanity” it is committing against the Iranians as well as the Yemenis.

“The US is to be held accountable for crimes against humanity re Iran & Yemen,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday. He was referring to America’s sanctions against Iran and its support for the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier told BBC Persian, “We have provided, we have accommodated the Iranian people with our sanctions, and it’s now the Iranian government’s responsibility to make sure that they do the right thing…It’s their job to do the right thing for their people.”

In his interview with BBC Persian, Pompeo had claimed that “the challenge in Yemen is in large part the responsibility of the Iranian leadership,” repeating Washington’s allegation against Tehran of arming Yemen’s popular fighters, which the Islamic Republic roundly denies.

Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, invaded Yemen in 2015 with the support of the US and its major European allies.

According to Yemen’s Health Ministry, more than 15,000 have died since the onset of the warfare. However, Patrick Cockburn, an award-winning columnist for The Independent, recently cited a toll of 56,000 by a nonprofit conflict-research organization.

“Just as with Yemen, Secretary Pompeo blames Iran for unlawful US sanctions preventing Iranians’ access to financial services for food and medicine,” Zarif said, adding, “Naturally, we will provide them for our people in spite of US efforts.”

Pompeo had, however, claimed that none of US sanctions prevented humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people.

Asked about Saudi Arabia’s role in causing thousands of casualties in the impoverished country, Pompeo had alleged, “The Saudis have provided millions and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief.”

Zarif reacted by ironically tweeting, “You know what Secretary Pompeo? It’s the Yemenis themselves who’re responsible for famine they’re facing. They should’ve simply allowed your butcher clients — who spend billions on bombing school buses & “millions to mitigate this risk”– to annihilate them without resisting.”

On August 9, a Saudi air raid hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the town of Dhahyan in the northwestern Yemeni Sa’ada Province, killing a total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and injuring 79 others, mostly kids.

The Iranian foreign minister incorporated #HaveYouNoShame at the bottom of the tweet.

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