Zarif Announces Peace Plan for Yemen

April 16, 2015

On April 14, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced a peace plan to resolve the conflict in Yemen at a press conference in Madrid. His four-point proposal includes an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, dialogue among Yemeni factions, and establishing a “broad-based” Yemeni government inclusive of all factions. Zarif also reiterated his opposition to the Saudi-led air campaign against the Houthis, claiming that airstrikes “are simply not the answer.” Saudi military spokesperson Ahmed Asiri responded by calling on Iran to stop arming Houthi rebels.

The following are excerpted remarks from Iranian, Saudi, Yemeni, and U.S. officials on Zarif's proposed peace plan.
 
Iran
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
 
 
“[Air strikes] are simply not the answer... All operations should end on land and from the air.”
 
“This issue should be resolved by the Yemenis... Iran and Saudi Arabia need to talk but we cannot talk to determine the future of Yemen.”
April 14, 2015, according to the press
 
Saudi Arabia

Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed al Jubair
 
"Iran has no role to play in Yemen...Iran, last time I checked, does not have a border with Yemen."
April 15, 2015, according to the press
 
Military Spokesperson Brig Gen Ahmed Asiri
 
"The Iranian Foreign Minister knows which door to knock if there is a political proposal."
 
"Iranians have had a role in establishing and arming this militia; however one thing the Iranians can do is to stop their support of this militia, and they will receive the appropriate response to their political proposal."
April 15, 2015, according to the press
 
Yemen
 
Vice President Khaled Bahah
 
"No proposal can be accepted before the war in Aden is stopped."
April 16, 2015, in a press conference
 
"We haven't received any official proposals."
 
"Any initiative must be tied to sound intentions and ending the war machine."
 
United States

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf
 
"Obviously, Iran plays a role here given their support for the Houthi.  And I think what would be most helpful from the Iranian side at this point is to respect this newly imposed UN arms embargo that was just passed today and stop supporting the Houthi.  So broadly speaking, of course, we need to get back to the political dialogue, that that’s always what we said the way forward is.  So whatever Iran can do to push the Houthi to do that obviously is the direction we need to go in, and want to make sure going forward now that all countries understand what their obligations and responsibilities under this new UNSCR that, again, was just passed today.  So I know those are conversations at the UN that are happening right now.”
April 14, 2015, according to the press