A Yemeni leader in the southern movement, Harak, revealed that most of the southern leaders have visited Iran to ask for help and claimed the Islamic republic is seeking to turn the south into a battlefield for sectarian conflict, Alahale reported on Tuesday.
Muhammad Ali Ahmed, head of the preparatory committee of the national conference for the south people, was quoted as saying the Iranian meddling in Yemen is not restricted only to the support given to the Shiite Houthi Group in the far north, but goes beyond that to plans to support southern leaders and recruit southern youths.
"Iran has sought to train and teach 6500 youths from the south as part of its plot to spread chaos to affect the West-backed political transition in Yemen," he said at the closing session of the two-day conference.
Yemen has recently accused Iran of sponsoring the Houthi Group and urged it to stop meddling in its own affairs, mainly through attempts to obstruct the power-transfer deal which was brokered by the GCC and backed by the West following the 2011 unrest.
President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi, on his maiden overseas trip that included stops in the US and some European countries including the UK and France, urged Iran to stay away from Yemen.
He said Iran is providing support to the Houthi Group and southern factions to destabilize the country, an accusation that Iran has denied.
Hadi also revealed the arrest of several Iranian spy cells and boycotted meetings with Iranian leader and other officials including an envoy to Yemen in protest against Iranian attitude.
The national conference for the south people was held to unify the southern factions to press for key demands topped by restoring the south republic which united with the north in 1990.
It comes amid increasing calls for the separation of the south and calls to boycott the dialogue conference, which is expected in early next year.
The conference was attended by Yemeni officials, foreign diplomats and a UN representative as the country is gearing up for a comprehensive national dialogue conference under the deal.