DEBKAfile May 13, 2015, 4:32 PM (IDT)
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri warned Wednesday that attacking the Iranian aid ship heading for Yemen will “ignite the flames of war” in the region. If Saudi Arabia, the United States, and their allies block Iran's humanitarian aid to the regional countries, “they will start a fire which they cannot put out,” the commander added. “I clearly announce that the self-restraint of the Islamic Republic of Iran has its limits,” Jazayeri stated. Iran’s Nejat (Rescue) cargo ship, containing 2,500 tons of aid, including food, medical supplies and tents, left the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas for Yemen on Monday.
The foreign ministry in Tehran said that Saudi-led naval forces will not be allowed to inspect the Iranian cargo ship bound for the Yemeni port of Hodeida under warship escort. Saudi Arabia, suspecting Iranian ships of carrying arms for the Houthi rebels, has blockaded Yemen’s sea and air ports. The US has urged Iran to redirect the ship to Djibouti where the UN has set up a center to coordinate aid for Yemen.