Iran's plans to export arms alarm Yemeni officials

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


A placard showing a missile component recovered in Saudi Arabia reveals identity and logo of Iranian manufacturer Shahid Bagheri Industries Logo in this file photo from December 14th, 2017. [Jim Watson/AFP]

Iran's stated intention that it will seek to sell weapons following the Sunday (October 18th) expiration of the UN arms embargo will further threaten the stability of Yemen and the region, Yemeni officials told Al-Mashareq.

Arms exports to Yemen also would violate UN Security Council Resolution 2216 on Yemen, which calls for all parties in Yemen, in particular the Houthis (Ansarallah), to immediately and unconditionally end violence, they said.

In a Sunday statement, Yemen's Foreign Ministry said even with the ban, the Iranian regime has continued to smuggle weapons and personnel to the Houthis, which "demonstrates the enmity of that regime" towards Yemenis.

The ministry urged the international community and the UN Security Council to condemn Iran's illegal practices and violations and its continued intervention in Yemen's internal affairs.

In recent statements, President Hassan Rouhani and other top government officials revealed Iran's intentions to openly export weapons.

"Before being a buyer in the arms market, Iran has the ability to supply" other countries, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters Monday.

Escalating conflict in region

These statements are "a serious indication of Iran's plans to escalate the conflict in the region", Yemeni Information Minister Muammar al-Eryani told Al-Mashareq.

He warned of the dangerous consequences of "such provocative statements and of any Iranian steps to export weapons to Houthis".

This would "escalate the conflict, thwart political solutions to the Yemeni crisis, and increase subversive and terrorist activities that will undermine the stability and security of Yemen and the region", he said.

It also would pose a threat to international shipping lanes, al-Eryani added.

Yemen's government also condemned Iran's appointment of a new "ambassador to the Republic of Yemen", which it said was a violation of international law.

The new ambassador, who arrived in Sanaa last week, is an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer, al-Eryani said.

Iran's dispatch of an IRGC officer, coupled with its recent statements on its intentions to openly export weapons, reveals "the extent of its aggression which has been killing and oppressing Yemenis for five years", he added.

'New breach of UN resolutions'

Iranian officials' statements regarding the export of weapons after the end of restrictions imposed under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 will violate another UN resolution, journalist Khaled Ahmed told Al-Mashareq.

"Attempts to smuggle Iranian weapons to the Houthis is a new breach of UN Security Council resolution 2216 on Yemen, which banned the supply of weapons to Houthis," he said.

"Iran considers Yemen to be a battlefield, via its proxies," he said, and has used the Houthis to target Saudi Arabia, "using drones and missiles".

This has had an adverse economic impact on Saudi Arabia and the global economy, he added, noting that for this reason and others "the international community must take measures to stop the subversive role of Iran".

By supporting the Houthis, Iran has prolonged the war in Yemen and compounded the suffering of the Yemeni people, Ahmed said.

"The war in Yemen is about to enter its sixth year, and the end of the arms ban on Iran means that Iran's military support to Houthis will double," he said.

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500