Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Tuesday denounced Iran’s “support” for Al Houthi rebels seeking to “destabilise” neighbouring Yemen, insisting that the authorities in his country are not “warmongers”.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab coalition which since Thursday has been carrying out air strikes against Al Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen.

Al Houthis and their ally, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, “decided with the support of Iran to destabilise Yemen and confuse the issue”, Prince Saud Al Faisal told the Shura Council, according to the Twitter account of the appointed advisory body.

“We are not warmongers, but when they beat the drums of war we are ready,” said Al Faisal, who has held the post since 1975 and is the world’s longest-serving foreign minister.

Al Houthis seized power in the capital Sana’a in February, forcing President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to the port city of Aden.

The rebels last week were advancing on Aden, raising Saudi fears that they would seize control of the entire country and take it into Iran’s orbit.

Hadi arrived in Riyadh from Aden on Thursday.