Abe heads to Tehran to try and ease Iran-U.S. tensions


Leaders from around the Arab world have condemned a Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia's Abha International Airport.

According to Arabiya TV, the country's civil aviation said in a statement that the airport's traffic was carried out as usual.

This attack also proves the terrorist militia's acquisition of new special weapons, the continuation of the Iranian regime's support and practice of cross-border terrorism, and the continued violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2216 and Resolution 2231.

The attack followed an earlier interception, by Saudi air defense systems on Tuesday, of two Houthi combat drones that targeted a military base on the kingdom's southern border with Yemen. It would take "urgent and timely" measures in response, it said. Former Japanese diplomat Kunihiko Miyake said: "The object of the visit is not to mediate".

Bahrain's Foreign Ministry expressed support with "the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" and affirmed "the need for a strong-willed worldwide stand against Iran to stop it supporting these recurrent terrorist acts". A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015. The Houthis deny being puppets of Iran and say their revolution is against corruption.

The UAE, in its condemnation of the attack, said the act was proof of the Houthi militia's attempts to "undermine regional security".

The Houthis have previously targeted Saudi cities with drones and missiles, most of which have been intercepted.

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But Abe would not simply be a mediator, Japanese officials say, as Tokyo's aim is to ensure stability in the Middle East, a critical factor for resource-scarce Japan.

The Houthi group last month stepped up its attacks following a lull previous year ahead of United Nations -led peace efforts.

An air strike by the Saudi-led coalition that killed dozens of people in Yemen last August was branded an apparent war crime by Human Rights Watch.

Japan had relied heavily on Iranian oil, but has cut imports to comply with US sanctions.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected in Tehran on Wednesday for a rare diplomatic mission, hoping to ease tensions between the Islamic republic and Tokyo's key ally Washington.

"Mr. Trump himself has announced that the USA has launched an economic war against Iran", Zarif said. More than 22 million people in Yemen are desperate for humanitarian aid and protection.