Yemen: Strange Turn of Events for IranKeyvan Salami 29 Apr 2016 15:26 GMT
At a time when everything is going south for Iran in the Middle East, the Shiite Houthis have jumped on the bandwagon and turned on the mullahs. In spite of years of providing financial aid, sophisticated arms, logistics and dedicating its Quds Force advisors regardless of its own moribund economy, Iran is now witnessing the Houthi rebels not only becoming reluctant, but actually criticizing their role and accusing them of taking advantage of the situation in Yemen to further engulf the entire region in flames. Circumstances have changed to such an extent that Houthi leaders are now claiming Iran plays no role in their decision making process and this group is no proxy for any party. This small group is now making demands for Iran to stop taking advantage and issuing orders in the Yemen dossier. Iran Becoming Bete Noire for Houthis Houthi leaders in Yemen may have finally realized their association to Iran was actually a lose-lose situation, especially after recent developments in the region. Recent remarks made by senior Houthi officials unveil a major shift in focus against Tehran. Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdulsalam lashed at Iran saying the mullahs are taking advantage of the situation in Yemen based on their own interests. Iran has no role in Houthi leaders’ decision making, he added, going on to condone the mullahs for viewing Sana’a as the fourth Arab capital under their hegemony. Prior to him Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a leading figure in the Houthi politburo, harshly rebuked Iran’s positions as holding the Houthis and Gulf countries hostage through Tehran’s destructive role, adding such remarks are not in the interests of Yemen in general. Situation Going South Developments in the Yemen crisis and the current war against the insurgents spearheaded by a Saudi-led coalition have had their toll on the Houthis. Senior officials of this group are currently reevaluating their relations with Iran and weighing their strategic interests in the long run. Iran has also felt the heat from the international community. In the past few months naval ships of France, Australia and the United States have seized boats attempting to smuggle arms and ammunition from Iran to the Houthis in Yemen. Such measures are all in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions banning Iran from exporting any weapons. Adding Insult To Injury These are the times when Iran has already suffered setbacks in its nuclear ambitions, its once dominating influence in Iraq diminishing fast, and Russia pulling out the bulk of its forces from Syria. To add insult to injury, various regional bodies have blacklisted the Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist group and Hezbollah associates are being expelled from countries across the region. The recent Organization of Islamic Conference summit didn’t miss the opportunity and ratified a final resolution with four articles literally barbecuing Iran. International experts believe Iran is bent on instigating and prolonging the war in Yemen. It is high time for the UN to focus its pressures on Tehran, and not Sana’a, to render the return of security and stability in Yemen. All “Good” Things Must Come To An End After a decade long of windfall gains ascending from a strategic mistake made by the U.S. in occupying Iraq, the tides are now turning drastically against Iran. The top brass ruling this regime from Tehran have some serious decisions to make, and this is the best opportunity for the international community to stop toying with the idea of further concessions to Iran, and rather slam Tehran with comprehensive accountability measures in response to all the crimes gone unpunished throughout these years. Houthi spokesmen have shown signs of positive talks with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s archrival in the region. UN envoy to Yemen Ismaeel Walad Sheikh Ahmed recently described peace in Yemen as closer than ever. For Iran, this is the exact recipe for disaster in this strategic part of the globe.