Iran´s Foreign Minister is calling for an end to Saudi Arabia's bombardment of Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, and is offering to assist in political transition. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Iran´s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned on Tuesday (April 14) the aerial bombardment by its main regional rival Saudi Arabia of Yemen and offered to assist in a political transition in the country. In an informal breakfast in Madrid with Spain´s Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria and the former high representative for foreign policy of the EU, Javier Solana, Zarif repeatedly urged a halt in the air strikes and called for dialogue within Yemen. "We believe that aerial bombardment are simply not the answer. Because there is nothing of military value in Yemen to bombard. And that is why the entire three weeks of aerial bombardment by Saudi Arabia have been hitting civilian infrastructures. Bridges, hospitals, power plants and not even a single military base. Not, not much to attack," Zarif said. Saudi Arabia is backing Yemen's president against a rebel force, Houthi, allied with Iran. The Houthi advance towards the Yemeni city of Aden forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh last month and triggered a Saudi-led campaign of air strikes to try to drive back the rebels, who share their Shi'ite faith with Iran. Zarif proposed a ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, an intra-Yemeni dialogue, and a broad-based government to end the conflict "It is not a negotiation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran and Saudi Arabia need to talk but this, I mean we cannot talk to determine the future of Yemen. This is a inter-Yemeni dialogue. Yemenis have to speak to themselves, everybody else have to facilitate," Zarif said.