190815 al houthi
A Houthi fighter fires in the air during a gathering aimed at mobilising more fighters for the their movement, in Sanaa, Yemen. Image Credit: AP

Tuesday’s visit by Yemeni militants to Tehran to meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is further proof of where the Al Houthis’ allegiance lies.

For years, Arab states have decried Iran’s interference in the region, particularly in Yemen, where Arab states are currently embroiled in a war there against the militants.

The militants carried out a coup in 2014, at the behest of Iran, and since then have dragged the country into misery and chaos.

Efforts to reach a political solution have been futile as Al Houthis take their political cues directly from Tehran.

Putting Iran’s interests ahead of the Yemeni people is proving to be a catastrophic strategy as the country falls further and further into the abyss.

The militants continuously drag their feet when it comes to implementing UN-brokered ceasefires—only to later renege on their promises.

Because the international community has not firmly criticised Al Houthi intransigence towards implementing a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden in December, the militants have dragged their feet.

This has only prolonged the suffering of the Yemeni people, who deserve better.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition which is fighting to restore Yemen’s internationally-recognised government has shown good faith by halting its hugely successful push along Yemen’s Red Sea coast to liberate it from Al Houthi presence.

Last year it launched the lightening offensive dealing a substantial blow to Al Houthi militants, pushing them further towards their heartland in Yemen’s north.

However, because of the importance of Hodeida port for Yemeni goods, the international community asked for a halt in the offensive to give peace talks a chance.

The coalition did just that and attended the Sweden talks in good faith, sitting down face to face with Al Houthis for the first time.

When the deal was finally reached, Yemeni rival parties were globally lauded for their important achievement.

However, the fanfare was short-lived as the following months Al Houthis violated the ceasefire more than one thousand times.

That is why an agreement over the Red Sea port city of Hodeida is so critical.

Iran has abused the port, which is the country’s main conduit for aid and goods, by smuggling in weapons to sustain Al Houthis’ military efforts.

Some of these dangerous weapons, like ballistic missiles, have been launched on Saudi soil, threatening the lives of civilians.

While the war is an ugly situation, the blame falls squarely on Al Houthis, who, with the backing of Iran, are seeking to prolong it.