Iranian presence in Yemen is but propaganda, a former French ambassador to said on Tuesday, accusing United Arab Emirates of seeking to weaken Yemen, the poorest Arabian Peninsula country.
At interview with France24, Mr. Ambassador stated that all people know that no Iranian troops are there in Yemen, maybe two, three. Even Americans know that Iranians are not present in Yemen... It is mere propaganda.
"When I was ambassador to Yemen, Houthis were fighting the government, and the Yemeni Interior Minister told me 'we claim that there are Iranians, but we have no evidence'," the ambassador added.
Asked about the origin of arms reaching Houthis, he said "at that time we said 80 million weapons in the country, this means every Yemen has four arms. Yemen is full of weapons, some Yemeni tribes possess antiaircraft."
"They need no other arms, but they probably buy some weapons from some markets, with some arms may come from Iran, but this does not mean there is Iranian presence in Yemen."
The former envoy hoped Yemeni warring parties may bring about breakthrough at talks set to commence Thursday in Sweden, and stop the 4-year fighting.
But the French diplomat thinks the ultimate solution for crisis is difficult now.
As for the American stance to war in Yemen, he said the US changed mind not because they like Yemen, but for they afraid about the future of the Saudi regime, and benefited from Khashoggi murder.
"War in northern Yemen has no possibility for Saudi success, they lose in Hodeida though it is coastal area easy for them. In Yemeni mountains, Saudi troops have no prospect to win from land," he said citing daily concrete losses for Saudis in Yemen.
He said the international community has no clear will to end Yemeni crisis.
"Unfortunately, France had to intervene in talks. That was possible for it has good relations with Saudis, and France has good reputation in Yemen," he added.
He believes that France, Britain, Germany and other European nations should play a role in Yemen. "Limiting dialogue to Saudis and Yemenis under US umbrella puts talks at risk."
The French ambassador accused UAE of seeking to "weaken Yemen, since they think the country poses danger for them, but they are mistaken."
He also criticized the internationally recognized Yemeni government, which he labeled as a mask for Saudi and Emirati faces, but "it will lose more than others."
"Yemeni government is a ghost, it has no presence, it represents no one, it controls no area in Yemen, even Aden," according to the diplomat. "Houthis, however, are a great power representing Yemeni north, fully under their control."
The coalition has been raging a military campaign in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake areas controlled by Houthi (Ansarullah) Group seen as proxy for Iran in the Arab Peninsula country.
The conflict has left tens of thousands killed in Yemen, already the Arab world's poorest country, and more than 22 million people in need of aid - 8.4 million of whom are on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.