TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni government has asked Oman to persuade Iran to start mediation efforts to prevent the spread of popular protests to the capital, Sana'a.
Yemen's Braqshnet news website quoted informed sources as saying that Yemen has urged the Omani government to encourage Tehran to mediate between the central government and the protesters who moving towards Sana'a. The protests have entered a new phase after al-Houthi and Ansarallah groups called on people to hold rallies in the country to protest at the government's policies.
Based on the report, a Yemeni delegation has traveled to Masqat to pave the ground for Iran's mediation.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis staged a rally in the capital of Sana'a on Monday, protesting against the government's decision to raise fuel prices last month and demanding the resignation of the government.
The protesters, most of whom are supporters of the Shiite Houthi group, joined the rally in response to a call by Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the group, who vowed to set up a sit-in camp inside the capital until the people's demands are met by the government.
During the demonstration, the protesters waved banners, blamed the government for lifting the fuel subsidies last month and demanded the resignation of cabinet members for the government's failure in bringing welfare to the people and taking reforms in the country.
Protester Ali Nasher said "we will overthrow this failed government and we will bring a new government that will meet the goals of the revolution to make people live a decent life."
The government tightened security in and around Sana'a by deploying soldiers on every main street and blocking roads leading to government institutions.
No violence was reported between the protesters and soldiers. The protest was the second of its kind this month, following a rally staged by the Shiite Houthi group on Aug. 4 in Sana'a.
The government on July 30 raised the price of petrol from 125 Yemeni riyals (about 0.6 US dollar) to 200 riyals per liter and diesel from 100 to 195 riyals, sparking angry protests across the country.
The government defended the price hike, saying all Yemeni parties agreed on the decision to reduce budget deficit, according to official Saba news agency.
In 2013, the government spent about 3 billion dollars on fuel subsidies, nearly a third of Yemen's state revenue.
The cash-strapped Yemeni government has been seeking to secure a loan for over a year from the International Monetary Fund, but the latter demanded an immediate cut to the fuel subsidies at first.
Yemen has suffered severe fuel shortage since May, when fuel supplies were available only in a few stations in major cities.