Iran says ambassador in Yemen has coronavirus, recalls him

Tehran: Iran said Saturday it is recalling its ambassador in Yemen for medical treatment as he has been infected by the coronavirus.

The Foreign Ministry said on its website that Ambassador Hassan Irloo was in need of urgent medical care after being infected for several days, and was en route to Iran.

The announcement comes after the Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Irloo was being removed over strains with the Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran and hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

The report quotes anonymous officials from the Mideast and Western officials, and said Irloo showed no signs of having Covid-19.

Yemen has been at war since 2014. A Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in March 2015, but a stalemate has dragged on, causing the world’s worst humanitarian disaster and killing an estimated 110,000 people.

Aiming to undermine its Saudi rivals, Iran has given the Houthis military and political support, according to Arab countries, the West and United Nations experts. Tehran long has denied the allegations, despite evidence to the contrary.