Iran’s aid ship enters Gulf of Aden, US and Saudi Arabia issue warnings
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMay 17, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 17, 2015 12:00 am
An Iranian aid ship bound for Yemen reached the Gulf of Aden on Sunday despite Saudi naval blockade. The 'Iran Shaed' cargo ship which left the Bender Abbas port of Iran on May 11, was carrying about 2,400 tons of food and 100 tons of medical aid when it entered the Gulf of Aden -- despite warnings from the US and Saudi Arabia, reported the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). The ship is expected to arrive in the western Yemeni port city of Hudaydah on May 21.
Accusing Iran of arming Yemeni rebels, also known as Houthi Shiites, Saudi Arabia had previously blocked two Iranian civilian planes from delivering aid to Yemen. Saudi Arabia once again warned the Iranian ship against entering Yemeni waters without its permission.
Monitoring the cargo ship, the U.S. also issued a warning against Iran stating that it should send the ship to Djibouti, where humanitarian efforts for Yemen are being coordinated. Iran responded to the warning by saying that neither the U.S. nor Saudi Arabia had the right to inspect the Iranian humanitarian aid ship and that the 34th fleet, currently in the Gulf of Aden, will accompany the 'Iran Shaed' cargo ship.
Yemen's conflict has killed more than 1,400 people many of them civilians since March 19, according to the U.N. The country of some 25 million people has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led blockade.
Humanitarian organizations have been scrambling to distribute aid before the end of the truce, which is to expire on Sunday.