Iranian ambassador repatriated to Yemen dies from Covid-19

Iranian ambassador repatriated to Yemen dies from Covid-19
Iran's ambassador to Houthi rebel-held Sanaa in Yemen died Tuesday, days after contracting the Covid-19.
2 min read
21 December, 2021
Eyrlo's repatriation to Iran had to be mediated between regional states [AFP/Getty-file photo]

Iran's ambassador to Yemen passed away on Tuesday due to Covid-19 complications several days after contracting the virus, Tehran's foreign ministry announced.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said in a statement that Hassan Eyrlo caught the virus in Sanaa, which is held by Houthi rebels his country supports.

He added that his return to Iran for treatment was "delayed due to the lack of cooperation of some countries".

The ambassador was finally put on an Iraqi plane to Iran after mediation between Baghdad and Saudi Arabia, according to the statement.

Khatibzadeh had announced on Saturday that Eyrlo caught the virus "several days ago".

The Wall Street Journal had reported on Friday that Eyrlo was being flown out of Sanaa because of strains with the Houthi rebel group.

The report quoted anonymous Middle Eastern and Western officials who said Eyrlo showed no signs of having Covid-19.

Yemen has been torn apart by war since 2014 when Houthi rebels captured the capital Sanaa, forcing the government south. A Saudi-led coalition aiding government forces entered the conflict in March 2015, but a years-long stalemate has caused the world's worst humanitarian disaster and the killing of hundreds of thousands of people.

Iran has given the Houthis military and political support, according to Arab countries, the West, and United Nations experts. Tehran has denied the allegations.