Yemeni president asks Iran to stop interference in internal affairs

Yemeni president asks Iran to stop interference in internal affairs
# 19 July 2012 01:50 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Wednesday asked Iran to stop interference in Yemen’s internal affairs after an alleged Iranian spy cell was captured in Sanaa, APA reports quoting XInhua.

"We ask our counterparts in Iran to stop interfering in Yemen’s affairs, and to take into account the sensitive circumstances Yemen has already experienced nowadays," Hadi was quoted by Yemen’ s official Saba news agency as saying when he addressed senior military officials at the War Academy in Sanaa.

"We tell them (Iran) from here to leave Yemen alone, and that’s enough for what you (Iran) have done against Yemen," Hadi said.

Hadi’s speech came one hour after the Yemeni defense ministry announced that its security services captured an Iranian spy network which secretly carried out espionage activities in the country for seven years.

The spy network is commanded by a former senior official of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the ministry said Wednesday in a statement on its website.

The ministry did not provide further details about the members of the network or when it was apprehended, but security officials of the interior ministry told Xinhua that the spies will be soon brought to a public trial in Sanaa.

Relations between Yemen and Iran have become strained since 2004 after Yemen accused Iran of funding a Shi’ite rebellion in northern Yemen. The accusation was denied by Iran.

On Aug. 26, 2010, the Yemeni government and the Shi’ite group signed an agreement in the Qatari capital of Doha to cement a fragile cease-fire to end an on-and-off war since 2004, but the rebels’ clashes with local tribesmen are still rocking the region.

The Shi’ite rebels, also known as al-Houthis, controlled most parts of Yemen’s northern province of Saada as they have also been trying to take advantage of last year’s unrest against former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to expand control over the country’s other northern regions.

The al-Houthis agreed last month to join a national reconciliation dialogue at the invitation of Hadi. The dialogue aims at paving the way for constitutional reforms and presidential elections two years later.

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