Dubai: Tuesday’s visit by Al Houthis with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is further proof of their fealty to Iran, the UAE has said.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said of the meeting:
“Houthi relations with Iran, for long in search for proper designation, is clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei. Stated in black & white in their statement of fealty the Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology.”
Gulf states have long complained of Iran’s interference in Arab states’ affairs, from Iraq, to Syria to Lebanon to Yemen.
Khamenei hosted Al Houthi rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam at his Tehran residence late Tuesday.
During the meeting Khamenei renewed his support for the rebels, who control the Yemeni capital Sana;a and much of the north.
The conflict has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and displaced some 3.3 million since 2015.
Two-thirds of the population - some 20 million people - require humanitarian support, according to the United Nations.
Khamenei blasted the “Western world’s indifference towards the crimes committed in Yemen”.
Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of illegally smuggling weapons into Yemen to sustain Al Houthi war efforts.
Hundreds of Al Houthi missiles have targetted Saudi territory in defiance of international law.