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Yemeni President Says Iran Wants To Destroy His Country


Yemen's president accused Iran of trying to destroy his country as Tehran-backed rebels there battle government forces.

"We find ourselves mixed in this battle...to ensure that the country not fall into the hands of Iran, which would like to see the destruction of the country," President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi told the United Nations General Assembly September 29.

Hadi returned to his country only last week from exile in Saudi Arabia -- a year after Huthis seized much of the country.

He regained power only with help of a Saudi-backed coalition of Arab states that has been bombarding the Huthis and blockading ports to prevent the Shi'ite Muslim rebels from importing arms from Iran.

Hadi blamed the Huthis for the country's humanitarian crisis, saying it could qualify as "genocide." The UN estimates more than 80 percent of the population is hungry and needs medical care.

Independent monitors have blamed the blockades and air strikes for causing the most death and destruction, however. This week, a strike on a wedding party killed 131 people.

A Tehran official said "Iran has never interfered in any country's state matters and will never do it."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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