Country urges formation of new Yemeni government

Iran also offered to assist in such a political transition should it come through.

Amidst increasing hostility in Yemen following fights between Houthi rebels and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadiloyalists, Iran has urged for the formation of a new government.

In a speech during a 2-day visit to Kazakhstan, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said:

"I had the privilege of participating in the Bonn Conference when we created the Afghan government. Actually we didn't do it, the Afghans did ... We can do that in Yemen too"

The Bonn Conference was held in 2001 to rebuild the Afghan state after its Taliban rulers were ousted in a U.S.invasion supported by allied Afghan forces, and resulted in an entirely new political system for Afghanistan.

Iran's suggestion could however be seen by Saudi Arabia as an attempt to extend Iran's influence on the Arabian Peninsula, where a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni-ruled Arab states is trying to shore up support for President Hadi.

According to Reuters, the rivalry for influence between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran in countries such as Yemen, Iraq and Syria has fuelled sectarian instability in the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

Meanwhile President Hadi, in a New York Times opinionpiece said Iran was "obsessed with regional domination" and the Houthis were its "puppets".

On the flipside, Tehran does not recognise Hadi as Yemen's president but maintains it has not given military support to the Houthis, who have long complained of exclusion from power in Yemen and seized the capital Sanaa in September.


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