Iranian interference protracts Yemen's war

By Abu Bakr al-Yamani in Sanaa

A fighter loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi stands on an armed truck near Kahbub, a mountainous area overlooking the Bab al-Mandeb Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea, on September 15th. [Nabil Hassan/AFP]

A fighter loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi stands on an armed truck near Kahbub, a mountainous area overlooking the Bab al-Mandeb Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea, on September 15th. [Nabil Hassan/AFP]

Iran's continued interference and weapons smuggling in Yemen is protracting the ongoing war, exacerbating the suffering of the people and violating an international embargo, Yemeni officials and analysts say.

Iran has been observed smuggling weapons into Yemen on several occasions, they said, despite the arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

"Iran is interfering in the internal affairs of Yemen, and such flagrant intervention has to stop," Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalak al-Makhlafi said during the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela on September 17th and 18th.

In a September 23rd speech to the UN General Assembly, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi said despite the challenge it presents, "the destructive scheme led by Iran through its mercenaries in Yemen stands no chance of succeeding".

He stressed that Yemeni forces "did not fire the first shot" in the current war, and said the country has "long called for putting an end to all the tragedies that have destroyed [our country] for the last 50 years as a result of corrupt governments and selfish control of national wealth and state power".

This led to tension and popular protests two years ago, he said, adding that then, as now, "Iran impeded all measures that we are taking" to implement UN resolutions and the initiatives set out by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC).

Violating truce to smuggle arms

"Iran has taken advantage of the truce declared by the UN envoy to Yemen so that it can bring in supplies and smuggle weapons to its allies in Yemen," said Abaad Centre for Strategic Studies director Abdulsalam Mohammed.

During the truce, announced in Kuwait, coalition air campaigns were put on hold, he told Al-Mashareq, while Iran took advantage of the pause in fighting to deliver anti-armour missiles and other weapons to the Houthis.

These weapons are the same type as those manufactured by Iran that are in the hands of Hizbullah in Lebanon, he said, adding that several experts have confirmed Iran as the source of these weapons.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) supplied the Houthis with weapons through several channels during the truce period, Mohammed said, chiefly via "smuggling operations across the long coastline using small boats".

The IRGCdelivers the weapons to nearby islands, as Yemen has an extensive coastline along the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, he said, noting that Iran also has a military presence in Bab al-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden.

"Iran has used its position to transport weapons in piecemeal to the islands scattered in those waters," he said.

From that point, smugglers ferry the weapons to the mainland and deliver them using different commercial routes and in collaboration with factions operating in ports for a fee, Mohammed said.

Weapons often are smuggled into the country with food and other commercial shipments, he added.

In breach of UN Resolution 2216

The Iranian regime has breached UN Resolution 2216 through its interference in the Yemeni conflict, Mohammed said.

"Recently, Iranian-made weapons were used, and other Iranian assistance includes media agitation, statements and threats made to neighbouring countries," he said.

"Iran is trying to besiege the Gulf countries with its militias -- in Iraq from the east, in Syria from the north, and in Yemen from the south," he said, with the aim of creating chaos and failed states in a bid to weaken the Gulf states.

"You can see this through the wars and chaos in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, as Iran seeks to incite sectarian and regional tensions so as to prolong the wars," he said.

These sectarian and regional wars will allow it to wield influence in these countries by way of its armed factions, he said.

"What is clear is that Iran’s interference in the region has ignited wars everywhere, which has undermined regional and international peace and security," he added.

'Setting the region ablaze'

"Iran is working for its own interests and is setting the region ablaze with wars using its proxies in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen," strategic expert Adnan al-Humairi told Al-Mashareq.

Iran’s military support and supply of weapons to the Houthis "is no longer a secret, particularly since the allied forces intercepted a weapons shipment and two other shipments before that", he said.

"Iran is masterminding a proxy war in Yemen for its own interests and is trying to establish a strong influence in Yemen" similarly to what it is doing in Iraq and Lebanon, al-Humairi said, adding that this will undermine the security and stability of the region because it fuels sectarianism.

The Yemeni maritime border that stretches from the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden from the south to the Red Sea from the west makes it easy to smuggle weapons and people into Yemen, said political analyst Tariq al-Zuraiqi.

Three arms smuggling operations have been intercepted on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, he told Al-Mashareq, according to a report by UN experts that was raised to the Security Council in August.

The report found that some of these operations were "directly linked to Iran", he said.

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18 Comment(s)

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As an Iranian, I see Iran's successful influence in Yemen is [the same as] Saudi Arabia's attempt to gain influence using its dollars in Abadan city, Iran. And the Saudi government should be punished, so that it will be forced, under military pressure, to come to the negotiation table with Iran and will not cooperate with the governments of United States and Israel in interfering in, and acting against, the interests of Iran! Any Saudi over-ambition will be faced with further equipping of the Huthis!


You must try and work hard to arrest the others. There are illicit drugs, crystal [methamphetamine] and opium inside water pipes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Kuwait. The pipe number is 477. Please check.


What you write is a load of nonsense! If you have the guts, then let's take arms and fight face to dace. In the hope that the day comes when we can go to Mecca just by using our national ID cards.


May God save Iran and the Iranian people, and may He provide all those who follow the path of truth and righteousness with stability, making them all land-owners. May God humiliate the enemies of Iran.


In the name of God "Muhammad is the messenger of God; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other." I do not know whether the author of this article himself believes in lying! Fear God! Fear the messenger of God (May God's peace be upon him and his family)... The House of Saud is the enemy of God and the enemy of the tradition of God's messenger. The messenger of God was "strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other," and the House of Saud is friend of unbelievers and enemy of the Muslims... God and His messenger are, and with the will of God always will be, supporters and helpers of Islamic Republic of Iran. Oh, Abu-al-Fazl Abbas (PBUH)


Will Michel Aoun succeed in preventing the export of armed Iranian militias from Lebanon to Arab countries? Yemen has now fallen apart, and the armed militias, including the pro-Iran Houthi militias, armed groups affiliated to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family, al-Qaeda, and family guards, must be liquidated. The remnants of al-Houthi and Saleh family in Sa’ada, Sanaa, Omran, Dhamar, al-Mahwit and Rima must be taken out, and the billions that had been stolen and hidden under tunnels in these areas must be looked for.


Abdel Malek Badr al-Din al-Houthi, anything but the Holy Mecca, the Kaaba and Holy Mosque. You’re the pig and dog of Iran’s mullas. Ali Abdullah Saleh, anything but the Holy Mecca, the Kaaba and Holy Mosque. You’re the pig and a dog of Sanhan!


Saudi Arabia has so far been quibbling and hasn’t given this matter its true importance. You who represent legitimacy and the Alliance, you haven’t been able to broadcast even a radio station to make people understand and to have a voice there.


The Houthis are the agents of Iran and the Saudi regime is an agent of America and Israel. This is the truth which we can’t hide. It was the Saudi regime that has unintentionally helped Iran expand because of its bad management. It has also helped America and Israel expand in our Arab countries, and has deliberately supported that to protect it against Iran and its allies, as they want to deceive it into believing. Saudi Arabia has implicated our Arab peoples in wars and woes, which it will eventually and inevitably be the victim of. In fact, it is a target for Iran, America, Israel and the enemies which it has created with its own hands. It’s an agent. May Allah’s wrath be upon the royal family in Saudi Arabia.


We're all with Ali Abdullah


Yes, Iran is the tail of snake, America its head and Israel its teeth. Allah willing, nothing can spare us except being faithfully united against this dangerous triad and working hard to repel it. We need to be strong in resisting bad things when they first appear. May Allah protect the country against the evil of evildoers, the malice of the licentious and the calamities of night and day! O, Allah save our people, country, rulers and all the Muslim countries! O, Allah exact our revenge against the oppressors!


O, Allah, give victory for legitimacy and let al-Houthis, Iran, and their supporters down!


May Allah destroy Iran and its allies! It's the biggest sabboteur in Arab counties.


If Saudi Arabia left Yemenis face their own fate with Iran and its cohorts, [gibberish], they wouldn’t like it. Their hatred of Saudi Arabia has intensified. They hated it before [gibberish]. Arabs are shameful. If Saudi Arabia hadn’t intervened, would you have been better? You would have an endless war. When the Houthis seize power, the ousted Saleh will not like it, and wars will break out among them, and Yemen will be a battlefield for Iran and its cohorts. The Houthis are barbarians; they are a small minority in Yemen. How can they claim power? There is no power but in God the High, the Great! Unrest, commotions and wars are always because of the Houthis. The first thing that Houthis, the cohort of Iran, does is to attack the land of the two Holy Mosques, as they did years ago when they entered Saudi soil. Allah suffices us, for He is the best disposer of affairs. Anyone who wants to do bad things to our security and land, let them be preoccupied with themselves and make their own plans destroy them, O, Allah!


May Allah fight them! They have destroyed Yemen, Syria and Iraq through their allies, the Shia Imamah.


Tِِِhis is absurd. This is Iranian phobia that America and its lackeys are resorting to in order to control the region.


Oh, Allah, relieve the Yemeni people of the calamity and destroy whoever was the reason!


Allah willing, everything will be just fine!