Cairo: Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has accused Iran of seeking to build a Persian empire and making his country part of it.

Iran is a staunch supporter of Yemen’s Al Houthi militants, who toppled the internationally recognised government in late 2014.

“We have shouldered responsibility so as not to leave the Yemeni people be led according to Iran’s plan that wants to build the Persian empire,” Hadi said in a televised address late Saturday.

“There are [people who are in custody] in Yemen from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the [Iranian-backed] Lebanese Hezbollah,” Hadi added.

He said the captives had admitted in investigations that they are an “extension of the Persian Empire”.

Hadi is staying in Saudi Arabia, which is leading an Arab military coalition that is fighting Al Houthis in Yemen.

Yemeni government forces, supported by coalition air power and shelling, have launched a series of attacks against Al Houthis in their stronghold of Saada near the Saudi border, Saudi television reported Sunday.

The attacks were carried out in Saada’s northern district of Baqim, resulting in the destruction of militants’ arms depots.

Baqim is about to come under the Yemeni army’s control, according to the TV reports. In recent weeks, government forces have progressed in Saada, a launchpad for Al Houthi missiles against Saudi Arabia.