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Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi speaks during a news conference after meeting with Lebanon's Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the government palace in Beirut April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi speaks during a news conference after meeting with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the government palace in Beirut April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Iran says Yemeni factions should form a national unity government to resolve the crisis there and that it is working to help achieve that, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday.

Morteza Sarmadi, deputy foreign minister, reiterated Iran’s call for an immediate halt to the two-week-old military campaign being led by Saudi Arabia against Yemeni Houthis who have seized much of Yemen and forced its Saudi-backed president to flee.

Speaking at a news conference in Beirut, Sarmadi said Yemen could not be governed by one political faction alone.

“All influential and active political currents and factions” with popular backing should stand together “to form a government of national unity that can govern Yemeni affairs in the best way possible”, he said.

“We, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, are undertaking all good initiatives and efforts that help in reaching this political solution,” he said.

Sarmadi told reporters : “A strategic mistake took place against Yemen.”

“The claim that the airstrikes are aimed at restoring legitimacy are not based on any international resolution,” he added.

Sarmadi said Yemen had been the focus of discussions he had held in Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of providing military support to the Houthis, a charge the Islamic Republic denies.

The Saudi-led campaign has failed stop the Houthis and allied soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh from pushing into the port city of Aden, from where Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was forced to flee last month.

Iran sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, state media reported.

Nuclear deal
Sarmadi who arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday on a special mission as special envoy of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a series of meetings with Lebanese officials on Tehran’s expected agreement with the West of its controversial nuclear program.

He first met with Speaker Nabih Berri after which he explained that the nuclear agreement reached last week is aimed at reaching a final one, expected before the end of June.

Sarmadi then headed to the Grand Serail for talks with the Lebanese Prime Minister

He is set to later meet with Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

The Iranian official will then visit the grave of slain top Hezbollah operative Imad Mughnieh and like all visiting Iranian officials he will most likely hold a meeting with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, Al Nahar reported .

Reuters / YL

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