With Saudi Arabia beginning a five-day “humanitarian pause” of its war in Yemen, Iran has dispatched a civilian cargo ship full of aid for the people of Yemen, with hopes that aid will be easier to deliver during the lull in fighting.
Iran isn’t taking any chances, however, saying they will be providing a naval escort in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandaab Strait to see to it that the aid reaches its destination in Hodeida.
The Pentagon insisted it was “unnecessary” for Iran to provide an escort for their ship, and accused them of “planning some sort of stunt.” The Pentagon knows about that, having spent 6 days earlier this month escorting cargo ships through Iranian waters for no apparent reason.
The US isn’t happy with the plan to head to Hodeida either, the main port near the capital of Sanaa, and is rather demanding Iran deliver all aid to a UN hub being set up in Djibouti.
The push for aid in Sanaa is pretty urgent, however, and after Saudi Arabia destroyed the capital’s civilian airport to prevent aid planes from landing, it’s understandable Iran wants to make sure the shipment isn’t simply lost along the African coast in miles of red-tape.