Iranian Navy to hold joint war games with Russia and China while Amnesty points to millions of disabled in Yemen

Child victims of the bombing campaign by the Saudi regime against the Yemeni people. Besides the immediate damage, Amnesty International reports that disabled people are extra hard-hit by lack of services and displacement

THE COMMANDER of the Iranian Navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, announced on Tuesday that his country’s naval forces are due to hold joint war games with their counterparts from China and Russia on December 27.

‘The joint drills of Iran, China and Russia codenamed Marine Security Belt will be staged on December 27,’ Rear Admiral Khanzadi said in a meeting with Chinese Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming in Tehran on Tuesday.
He also underlined preparedness to start the exchange of information between the two countries, including data and information related to pirates and technical issues, and called for increased joint naval drills to bolster defence preparedness of both states.
Rear Admiral Khanzadi also emphasised the importance of the joint production of destroyers and submarines by Iran and China, saying that the two states are necessitated to run technical cooperation in a bid to enhance the level of their know-how and experience.
The Chinese official, for his part, said interactions between Iran and China play an effective role in maintaining regional and international security and peace, describing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy as ‘an international and strategic force’.
In relevant remarks in September, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said that Tehran and Beijing were determined to boost their military ties in parallel with the expansion of relations in other areas.
Major General Baqeri, who was on an official visit to China, said that Iran and China were willing to develop long-term defence and military cooperation in parallel with political and economic ties.
He told reporters that relations between Iran and China had been promoted to a strategic level since 2016 and the comprehensive plan of development has been exchanged between the two states.
General Baqeri said that China is an important country in Asia and in the world as well, adding that cooperation with China in various fields is of prime importance to Iran.

  • The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, underlined the strategic relations between Iran and China, saying that a key document about the two countries’ long-term relations has been devised and presented to Beijing.

‘Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution considers ties between Iran and China as strategic and the Chinese president has the same view about these relations,’ General Baqeri said in a meeting with Chinese Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming in Tehran on Tuesday.
He added that a roadmap has been devised for the expansion of relations between the two countries in the next 25 years, which has been endorsed by Iran’s Leader and presented to the Chinese officials, reminding that there are various fields for cooperation between the Iranian and Chinese Armed Forces.
In relevant remarks in September, General Baqeri said that Tehran and Beijing were determined to boost their military ties in parallel with the expansion of relations in other areas.

  • Amnesty International has raised the alarm about the dire situation of millions of people with disabilities in Yemen, saying they are hit the hardest by a years-long Saudi-led military campaign against the impoverished state.

In a report, entitled
‘Excluded: Living with disabilities in Yemen’s armed conflict’ and published on Tuesday, the London-based rights group called on international donors to address the suffering of at least 4.5 million disabled Yemenis amid the bloody Saudi-led war.
The report was published on Tuesday as the world marked the International Day of Disabled Persons.
‘Yemen’s war has been characterised by unlawful bombings, displacement and a dearth of basic services, leaving many struggling to survive. The humanitarian response is overstretched, but people with disabilities — who are already among those most at risk in armed conflict — should not face even greater challenges in accessing essential aid,’ stated Rawya Rageh, senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.
‘International donors, the United Nations, and humanitarian organisations working with the Yemeni authorities must do more to overcome the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from meeting even their most basic needs,’ she added.
The report is based on a six-month research, including visits to three Southern Yemeni provinces and interviews with nearly 100 people.
Many of those interviewed said they undertook exhausting displacement journeys without wheelchairs, crutches or other assistive devices, adding that such equipment is in very short supply.
Migdad Ali Abdullah, an 18-year-old with limited mobility and difficulties in communicating, described as ‘torturous’ his trip alongside his family from Hudaydah to Lahij in early 2018.
‘I was transferred from bus to bus — in total four buses… My neighbour carried me,’ he said.
Some of the disabled Yemenis also told Amnesty International that they had been left behind as their families fled.
Meanwhile, families announced that they had sold belongings or delayed rent to prioritise costs associated with supporting a loved one with a disability.
‘I sold the furniture in my house and took her to Sana’a to get her treatment there. … Four months later, I could see she was not moving or laughing or playing. I took her up (to Sana’a) again.… The other day I even asked my friend about selling my kidney. I would sell my kidney and buy her a year’s worth of medication, the shoes she needs and everything else,’ noted the mother of a three-year-old girl with epilepsy and spinal muscular atrophy.
According to the report, there is only one prosthetic centre in Southern Yemen, which has to send some types of prosthetics abroad for repairs.
Rasha Mohamed, Yemen Researcher at Amnesty International, urged donors to provide the disabled Yemenis with more and better-suited assistive devices.
‘People with disabilities worldwide rightly demand that no decisions be made ‘about us, without us’ – and Yemen is no exception. International donors must step up to fully fund humanitarian pledges and do a better job of ensuring that people with disabilities in Yemen are not left behind,’ she added.
Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its vassal states launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall a Riyadh-backed former regime.
The Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has plunged Yemen into ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’, according to the United Nations.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organisation, estimates that the Saudi war has claimed more than 100,000 lives so far.

  • Iranian defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami has lashed out at Western governments for their destructive role in the Middle East, adding that former colonialists are seeking to return to the region.

‘Powers from beyond the region and their profit-seeking interference are the main elements behind instability and insecurity in the region’, Hatami said on Monday.
The Iranian defence minister made the comments in response to the remarks made by French defence Minister Florence Parly in the recent Manama conference.
Hatami said that the former colonialists are seeking to return to the region after they were expelled by the resistance of the people of the region, while noting that the people of the region are now awakened and have not forgotten the oppression and looting of their countries.
Stressing that there is no doubt about the fact that the US power is in decline (as it was referred to by the French defence minister), he added: ‘This does not necessarily mean that the region is ready to replace it (the US) with other arrogant powers.’
He further advised the French defence minister to have a look at the number of French citizens who joined the ISIL terrorist organisation and their involvement in the crimes that were committed in Syria and Iraq.
He further pointed out that the people and the armed forces defeated ISIL terrorists with the help of Iran and Russia rather than the Western countries.
Hatami went on to describe the French defence minister and other Western officials’ proposals for the security of the region as new irresponsible ways to colonialise the region which will further complicate the situation in the region.
Referring to the American and Israeli plots for the region, the Iranian defence minister noted: ‘The presence and the interference of the Westerners will further complicate the security conditions in the region.’
In an apparent reference to the French President Macron’s remarks on NATO, he advised Western countries to give up their plans to interfere and dominate the region and think of a solution for the brain-death of their own security institutions.
Last month, senior Iranian and Russian diplomats, in a meeting in Moscow, underlined the necessity for fighting terrorist groups and restoring peace to the Middle East region.
During the meeting in the Russian capital city, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi and his Russian counterpart Igor Morgolov discussed bilateral relations and regional developments.
In October, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at Washington for obstructing any initiative for forming an alliance of multiple countries pursuing common goals, warning that the US is seriously endangering multilateralism in the world.