Crime & Justice

Marib military court brings charges against Iran's ambassador to Sanaa

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

Hassan Eyrlou, Iran's ambassador to Yemen, meets with Yemeni officials upon arrival in Sanaa in October. [Photo via]

Hassan Eyrlou, Iran's ambassador to Yemen, meets with Yemeni officials upon arrival in Sanaa in October. [Photo via]

The military court in Marib has begun the trial of Hassan Eyrlou, Iran's ambassador to Yemen, who is accused of "espionage, sabotage and participating in hostile actions against Yemenis and the Yemen National Army".

In a November 11th court session, with Judge Aqil Taj al-Din presiding, a military prosecutor presented the case against Eyrlou, who has served as an officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The military prosecution presented evidence of the Houthis' communication with Iran that included details pertaining to Eyrlou.

The next court session is scheduled for Wednesday (November 25th).

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and 174 other Houthi leaders are currently on trial on charges that include communicating with Iran and staging a coup against the legitimate government of Yemen.

Iran's interference in Yemen has led to Eyrlou's inclusion in this group, Abaad Centre for Strategic Studies director Abdul Salam Mohammed told Al-Mashareq.

Iran's new ambassador had arrived in Sanaa in mid-October, the first time an Iranian diplomat had been sent to the country in five years.

The case brought against Eyrlou aims at distancing him from his diplomatic status and deeming him "a military enemy", Mohammed said.

He accused the Iranian regime of "tasking Eyrlou with directing the war in Yemen to serve the Islamic Republic's regional interests".

"Iran seeks to pressure Saudi Arabia and exert its own influence in the Gulf and the Arab region," he said. "Accordingly, Eyrlou was tasked with working to obstruct any rapprochement between the Houthis and the Arab coalition."

Popular anger in Sanaa

There has been a wave of popular anger among the Yemeni public over the arrival of Eyrlou in Sanaa.

"After Eyrlou's arrival, a number of assassinations occurred, and then Houthi militias shut down the House of Representatives in Sanaa because they failed to elect a Houthi affiliated with the group as the speaker," Yemeni government employee Abdul Waseh Mohammed told Al-Mashareq.

"They intended to replace the current speaker, who is affiliated with the General People's Congress (GPC)," he said.

"Eyrlou's arrival as the Iranian ambassador to Sanaa, which is under Houthi control, is clear evidence that the Houthis are communicating closely with Iran," political analyst Waddah al-Jalil told Al-Mashareq.

"Eyrlou's background reveals his work in the IRGC intelligence, so he was appointed to arrange the activities of IRGC-affiliated militias in the region," al-Jalil said, adding that he was responsible for recruiting and supporting Houthi figures.

It seems Eyrlou's mission was to "restructure the Houthi movement and let go of those who do not believe in its mission and that of the IRGC in the region", al-Jalil said.

Instead of an ambassador, Iran should send aid to Yemenis, Yemeni citizen Yasser Hassan told Al-Mashareq.

The people of Yemen have been suffering for five years as a result of the actions of IRGC affiliates, he said, and are now suffering more than ever.

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