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Iran Sends Navy Vessels Near Yemen

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani (L) attending the navy parade during a military drill in the Oman Sea on December 31.

Iran has reportedly dispatched a navy destroyer and another vessel to the seas near war-torn Yemen.

Iran's state-run Press TV quoted Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying on April 8 that the ships would be part of an antipiracy campaign aimed at "safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region."

The maneuver comes amid heightened tensions in the region with a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states conducting air strikes and delivering weapons to Yemeni pro-government forces in their battle against Shi'ite Huthis and mutinous troops.

Speaking in Lebanon, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi reiterated Iran's call for an immediate halt to the two-week-old aerial campaign and for a political solution to the Yemen conflict.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew to Islamabad on April 8 for talks expected to include Saudi Arabia's request for Pakistan to join the coalition battling the Huthi rebels.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters