Jan 16, 2021 06:29 UTC
  • Zarif: Blacklisting Ansarullah shows utter contempt of US for peace

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced the outgoing US administration’s decision to blacklist Yemen’s Ansarullah movement just before handing over power, saying such a hostile move shows Washington’s “utter contempt for peace.”

In a tweet posted on Friday, Zarif reacted to Washington’s decision, announced on Sunday, to label the Ansarullah movement as a foreign “terrorist” organization.

Making the announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said three leaders of what it called the “Iran-backed” Yemeni group would also be branded as “especially designated global terrorists.”

The will go into effect on January 19, just a day before the administration of US President Donald Trump leaves office.

“In its last disgraceful days, designating Houthis to worsen humanitarian nightmare & warmongering lies against Iran by Pompeo show utter contempt for peace,” said Zarif in his tweet.

The top Iranian diplomat referred to the numerous inhumane actions that the Trump administration has taken over the past four years in office and said, “The damage Trump regime has done to humankind is not enough for its extremists.”

“The planet will be better off without them,” Zarif added.

The designation has been met with harsh criticism from senior UN officials, the European Union, and prominent aid groups besides lawmakers and politicians within the US itself.

Humanitarian groups say such a measure could worsen the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, which has already been the scene of the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” according to the world body, due to a devastating Saud-led war and blockade.

On Thursday, Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths, along with other UN officials, delivered a warning to the US during Security Council meeting on Yemen, saying such a move could hinder diplomatic efforts to broker peace and “contribute to the prospect of famine.”

Backing Griffiths’ warning, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Washington to reverse the designation.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry likewise slammed the outgoing US administration’s measure as an obstacle to a political solution to the conflict in Yemen and relief efforts there.