No Iranian Interference in Yemen
The background of the conflicts between the Yemeni government and Saada oppositions who were called Houthis rebels later goes back to 2004. In 09/08/2009, while it was against Doha convection, an operation called “the burned land” was led by Yemeni troops and some Sunni tribes intended to clear north of Yemen from Zaidi Shiites.
There are many differences between the religion of Houthi Shiites and Iranian Shiites and if Iran wanted to support someone, it would be better to do this favor for Bahraini Shiites who’s believes are much resembles the Iranians and they are in a total agreements with their ideas including Velayat Faqih and fighting Zionism and they were a part of Iran in the near past. However, the supreme leader
has denied any kind of support for Bahrain in Friday Prayer’s speech clarifying the situation in Bahrain would have been different if Iran wanted to support them. (1) “As you seen we have supported Hezbollah in the war against heavily armed forces of the Zionist regime and this small group has won the war; If we want to support Bahraini people their regime will fall easily.” Regardless the advantages of fall down of Al-Khalifa regime for Iran and establishing a Shiite government, Iran refused military support and tried only to keep their spirits up through the media.
Another important point is the number of Duodecimal Shiites in Yemen is so trivial that does not exceed 1% of the Muslims. Iran strategy (or probably its leader) is to ask small groups of Shiites all over the world to educate themselves and to promote Islam (especially Shiism) as much as the can rather than getting into a war with other sects. Education will enable them to demonstrate Shiism as a factor for the growth of countries that allows people from different religion to live peacefully side by side and this matter will certainly absorb the youth from other religions.
Conflict between this group and Yemeni government does not benefit Iran after all because it may results in growth of Al-Qaeda in the country which is definitely would not be such a good news for Iran to have such a neighboring government. Iran wishes for Yemen to have an elected government with participation of all sects just like Egypt. In this case, the army and other decisive organizations will not be dissolved and they can stop the growth of Al-Qaeda in the country. It was stated in media also that western countries and Saudi Arabia have expressed their concern over the clashes between Shiite rebels and the Yemeni army in northern area and the growth of sense of independence in southern area might enables Al-Qaeda to find their way through the country using this chaos. Therefore, there was a lot of pressure on the Yemeni government from the west to put a lid on the clashes with the houthis ao Al-Qaeda cannot benefit from this chaotic situation to run its own destructive operations in the region.
Houthis’ pacificity suggests their unwillingness for the government’s destruction and they only ask for legal demands. They have only defended themselves against army’ attacks. They even took some pacifist steps to show their goon intentions;
- Abdulmalek Al-Houthi, the leader of these militants, issued a tape recorded statement offering ceasefire for the third time. He also declared that they have no intention of the conflict and the bloodsheds must be stopped.
- Freewill withdrawal from 46 war zones in Saudi Arabia.
- In response to the governments offer, Houthi leader accepted to pull back his troops from Saudi Arabian-Yemeni border areas and let the government to take control.(2)
These implications show that Houthi rebels do not intend destruction rather asking for legal demands like other Yemeni citizens but due to the current critical situation of the country (the growing danger of Al-Qaeda penetration in the country during the clashes) they have chosen not follow their demands by the use of force.
It should be mentioned that Iran has declined any kind of interference and if we assume that Iran has been supporting this group, they should have strongly stroked the government by now instead of accelerating the peace process.
Apparently, Yemeni, Saudi, and Bahraini statesmen have tried to denationalize the demonstrations in order to evade request to their demands and to have a fine excuse for the crackdown on them. Yemeni oppositions have denied this claim as well.
Abdulmalek Badr ol Din Al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi rebels, has called fighting for Iran is a “stupid and null allegation” adding “Iran has nothing to do with Yemen”. (3)
In a regional security conference in Bahrain United States Deputy Secretary of State Jeffery Feltman also said: “many of our friends and allies spoke about the possibility of external supports for the Houthis and all fingers were pointed at Iran. To tell the truth, we do not have a clear reason approving this theory”. (4)
Considering the US intelligence power and influence in the region and the world, their attitude conveys that the CIA could not find any clue that proves Iran’s support for the Houthis. Now that US intelligent agency could not prove interference, how is it possible for Saudi and Yemeni intelligence agencies to claim such a matter?
In addition to military aids and giving information to the Yemeni government to detect Al-Qaeda groups, the US has used its own fighter jets and drones to attack A-Qaeda and the Houthis.
Therefore, regarding the US unawareness claim of the supports and other mentioned reasons, Iran military support to Yemen can be definitively rejected.
- 1.Supreme leader’s Friday Prayer Speech
- 2.Khabar Online 26/01/2022
- 3.Aftab News Agency 29/11/2021
- 4.Khabar Online Review 11/12/2021
By: Hassan Mokhtari