Security

Iranian interference threatens to unravel Yemen's social fabric

By Abu Bakr al-Yamani in Sanaa

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Iran-backed Houthis take part in a gathering to mobilise more fighters into several battlefronts on November 1, 2016, on the outskirts of the capital Sanaa. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

The Iranian regime's financial and military support of the Houthis (Ansarallah) is threatening the unity of Yemeni society and paving the way for future conflict along sectarian lines, analysts tell Al-Mashareq.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) support of militias operating outside the Yemeni state also undermines national and regional security, they say.

"This support is the main reason the militias have control over political life and is the cause of the outbreak of conflicts and wars," Abaad Centre for Strategic Studies director Abdulsalam Mohammed told Al-Mashareq.

In the short term, he said, "Iranian support of the militias will lead to the militarisation of Yemeni society and will further exacerbate the absence of the state and embroil the country in the chaos of conflicts".

In the longer term, this will further the collapse of the economy and the health, education and food systems, he said, sparking a health crisis and a rise in poverty and hunger rates.

Iranian interference in Yemeni waters "will lead to an increase in the smuggling of weapons and drugs and human trafficking, pose a threat to international shipping lanes, lead to an increase in piracy and encourage violent and terrorist groups to expand", he added.

"Iran's support of the militias [operating] against the state will increase social, territorial and sectarian conflicts and widen ideological disputes at the expense of patriotism," he said, adding that these conflicts would tear Yemen’s social fabric apart.

"Ultimately, Iran's support of these militias aims to first devour the state and second to have these militias threaten regional and international security," he said.

Iran acts in its own interest

"In the interest of objectivity, an examination of the record of Iranian support of the Houthis necessitated looking for any achievements made that were in the interest of Yemen in order to determine if there will be any positive future return," said Yemeni political analyst and writer Abdul Malik al-Yousefi.

"However, the record was devoid of everything except the instruments of death that drowned Yemen in a deluge of violence," he told Al-Mashareq.

Even the Iranian Red Crescent, al-Yousefi said, was involved in the Iranian regime's scheming, explaining that before the current outbreak of violence, when Ali Abdullah Saleh was president, the organisation was forced to shut down its centre in Sanaa because it was discovered that the building was actually a base in which the Houthis conducted military intelligence activities.

In addition, he said, the Houthis themselves do not escape Iran's manipulation. In the early days of the current crisis, the Houthis bought fuel from Iran at double the going global price, even though Iran was selling oil at below global prices because of the embargo imposed on it.

All these indicators point to the future dimensions of Iranian interference in Yemen, he said, "namely death and destruction and torpedoing the social fabric".

"The heading is death, which has claimed the lives of 60,000 soldiers and the same number of civilians in the six wars in al-Saada, and killed thousands in two years, while hundreds of thousands are still under the direct threat of death coming from Iran," he said.

IRGC support for the Houthis "stirred the sectarian issue", strategic issues researcher Adnan al-Humairi told Al-Mashareq, noting that "Yemen is known for its peaceful co-existence among citizens of all sects".

"The fanaticism stirred by the unjust war in Yemen could intensify among those who belong to the armed group [the Houthis] and replace patriotism, and herein lies the greatest threat to the country's future," he said.

National unity is in everyone's best interest, he said, noting that love for the country is the common denominator for all groups, parties and entities.

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In my opinion, this is the most suitable and the clearest explanation.

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Eng. Mariam Rajawi, the leader of Iranian opposition, and her family and husband had fought with the Iranian people against the Shah of Iran. Today, they’re fighting against the mullahs regime and their supreme leader; the regime that has executed tens of thousands of opposition members, and has looted and stolen, and is still looting and stealing, the wealth of the Iranian people. The shoe of Mariam Rajawi is more honourable than the head of Abdul Malak Badr al-Din al-Houthi, the agent of Iran’s mullahs and their leader

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