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News number: 8808231040

15:20 | 2009-11-14


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Senior Iranian Cleric Urges OIC Action on Yemen's Crisis

TEHRAN (FNA)- Substitute Friday Prayers Leader of Tehran Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati called on the Organization of the Islamic Conference to take action regarding the crack down of Yemeni government against Shiite population.

"Certain Islamic countries have formed an alliance with the Yemeni government to crack down on the Shiite population of Saada Province," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said.

Ayatollah Jannati charged Saudi Arabia with sending aircrafts to the Yemeni army and shelling the Shiite-populated region of Saada.

He went on to describe the Saudi operations against the Houthis tribal group in Yemen as a campaign by Wahhabis to exterminate Shiites.

Yemen has been fighting a war in its northern mountains near the border with Saudi Arabia against a Shiite tribal group known as the Houthis, which has resulted in a humanitarian crisis in the region.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting and shelling while hundreds have been killed and wounded in the clashes.

The government accuses the Houthis of seeking to restore a religious leadership, which ended in a republican coup in 1962, as well as violating the terms of an armistice by taking foreign visitors hostage in 2009.

The Houthis say they demand an end to social, economic and political 'discrimination' against Shiites in Yemen as well as Saudi-backed attempts to spread Wahhabism - a sect that preaches controversial and violent actions - in the north and accuse the government of widespread corruption.

Expressing concern about the current Yemeni crisis, Jannati questioned the efficiency of the OIC, calling on the establishment for quick action on the matter.