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Yemen's Government Rejects Iranian Peace Plan

"The goal of the initiative is only a political maneuver," a spokesman for Yemen's government said of the peace proposal submitted to the U.N.
Image: TOPSHOTS-YEMEN-CONFLICT
Yemeni tribal gunmen of the Popular Resistance Committees loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, monitor a street with their weapons during clashes with Shiite Huthi rebels on April 16, 2015 in the city of Taez. Al-Qaeda militants seized a provincial airport in southeast Yemen while tribal forces took over an oil terminal, as the war-wracked country slides further into turmoil. TAHA SALEH / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

ADEN — Yemen's government has rejected a four-point peace plan for the country that Iran submitted to the United Nations, a spokesman said on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab coalition partners have been bombing Iranian-allied Houthi rebels for three weeks in order to halt advances that could give the rebels full control of the country.

The conflict, though rooted in local rivalries, has been described as a proxy war between predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran, both top OPEC oil producers.

The Iranian plan calls for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks, humanitarian assistance, a resumption of broad national dialogue and "establishment of an inclusive national unity government."

"We reject the Iranian initiative," Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Reuters by telephone from Qatar's capital, Doha. "The goal of the initiative is only a political maneuver."

Yemen's government and its main supporter, Saudi Arabia, have accused Iran of meddling in Yemen's affairs as part of an effort to dominate the region. Iran denies the allegations.

Iran has also dismissed accusations it is providing direct military support to Houthi fighters, Shi'ites from the north who have been closing in on the southern port city of Aden. The United Nations said about 150,000 people had been driven from their homes by air strikes and ground fighting, with more than 750 people killed.

IN-DEPTH

— Reuters