As the conflict in Yemen enters its fourth year, it’s worth reflecting on the provocative and perverse role being played by Iran in exacerbating the misery for our Arab brothers. In effect, the regime in Tehran has deliberately and wilfully frustrated all attempts to bring peace and stability once more to Yemen, and its Revolutionary Guards are continuing to arm Al Houthi rebels, all with the sole intent of establishing a hegemonistic administration there to advance Iran’s sectarian and political agenda.
Al Houthi rebels were nothing more than a tribal clan who used their links with Tehran to overthrow the legitimate government and administration of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. In the early months of this conflict, Al Houthis had every opportunity to be seated at peace negotiations in Kuwait City and elsewhere and to forge a deal with their Yemeni peers. But on every occasion when it seemed as if a deal was indeed ready, Al Houthis stalled — to check out with their masters in Tehran and see if it was indeed acceptable to Iran. And on every occasion, Al Houthis walked away from peace talks, following the orders from across the Arabian Gulf.
What is clear is that Al Houthis have over the intervening three years, received shipments of sophisticated weapons such as sea mines and missiles, along with regular arms and ammunition, shells and artillery. And their quartermaster is none other than Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who provides a high degree of training and technological advice to allow the sophisticated missiles to be set up, fuelled and targeted against those who act and support United Nations Security Council resolutions to restore the legitimate government in Yemen.The level of material aid, training, expertise and weaponry provided to Al Houthis by Iran have allowed this rebel militia to punch above its weight, spreading discord, unrest and febrile conditions where other terrorist groups can thrive.
All told, some 104 missiles have been intercepted by the defensive shield on Saudi Arabia’s cities and centres of population. What’s galling is that the leadership in Iran lies barefaced that it has not supplied missiles to Al Houthis, yet the forging stamps from the debris of these destroyed missiles state their Iranian manufacturers and origins. Al Houthis now are the beneficiaries of the same level of logistical support given to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, or to Iranian-backed militias who fought against Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq. Al Houthis and Tehran have no interest in peace — and that is why our Arab brothers in Yemen are suffering.