Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is allegedly seeking to mediate between Yemen’s Tehran-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia for an end to the Yemen conflict, according to Iranian media reports, after writing to leaders of the warring sides, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
An “informed” source told Iran’s Rouydad 24 that Ahmadinejad had “entered into correspondence” with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman and Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi to mediate an end to the Yemeni conflict.
Ahmadinejad is now trying to bring together a team of international figures to build a negotiating team, the source said.
Details on the team’s members and his mediation plan would be made public soon, according to the source.
When asked whether Saudi Arabia – Iran’s sworn regional foe – had replied to his letter, the former leader said: “The process has begun. The letters were sent as part of the first phase. The second phase entails a follow-up and formation of a mediation team.”
An exclusive report from The Independent’s Persian-language edition appears to confirm the development.
According to the report, Ahmadinejad will make the contents of the letters public on Friday.
A source close to the matter told The Independent that they include calls for an immediate ceasefire.
Ahmadinejad was “ready” to visit Saudi Arabia for meetings with both Saudi and Houthi officials, the report in The Independent said, adding that Ahmadinejad had full faith in the mutual strategic importance of Saudi-Iranian rapprochement.
With no direct confirmation from Ahmadinejad himself, whether he is on the cusp of a major foray into contentious international politics remains to be seen.
There have been indications that the former president may run for office in the country’s elections next year.
This week, Ahmadinejad made domestic headlines after he weighed in a proposed long-term pact between China and Iran, decrying the deal as tantamount to “plundering the country” and for “allowing foreign troops to enter Iran”.