Iran rejects remarks by former official about military support to Yemen’s Houthis
Iran’s foreign ministry rejected on Friday remarks made earlier this week by a former Iranian official about Tehran’s support to the Houthi militia in Yemen.
The remarks by Rostam Ghasemi, former oil minister and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, “are contrary to reality and the policies of Iran in Yemen,” Iran’s foreign ministry said in a short statement published on its website.
Iran’s “support for Yemen is [solely] political,” the statement said, adding that Tehran supports efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.
Ghasemi had said in an interview with Russia Today on Wednesday that the IRGC has provided weapons to the Houthi militia in Yemen and trained the militia in manufacturing weapons.
Ghasemi, a potential candidate for Iran’s upcoming presidential elections in June, said there is currently a “small” number of “advisors” from the IRGC on the ground in Yemen.
Iran has long been accused of providing financial and military support to the Houthis.
“All the weapons the [Houthis] possess is thanks to our aid,” Ghasemi said.
He added: “We helped them with weapons manufacturing technology, but the weapons production takes place in Yemen, they make them themselves, the drones and missiles are Yemeni-made.”
Ghasemi claimed his country is currently unable to send any weapons or even humanitarian aid to Yemen due to the “siege” imposed on the country.
“We have provided weapons in a very limited way. We have provided more consultations compared to supplying weapons to Yemen.”
Iranian admissions about military support to the Houthis are rare, but not unprecedented.
In 2018, Iran for the first time acknowledged being involved in the Yemen conflict when then-IRGC head Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran provided “advisory assistance” to the Houthis.
In 2019, the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces Mohammad Bagheri said the IRGC is providing the Houthis with “advisory and intellectual assistance.”
US Special Envoy on Yemen Tim Lenderking said on Wednesday that “Iranian support [for the Houthis] is quite significant, and it’s lethal.”
Speaking during a congressional hearing in Washington, Lenderking said that the Houthis’ behaviour showed they were not devoted to the interests of the Yemeni people.
The Houthis have conducted 150 attacks against Saudi Arabia this year, according to Lenderking.
US hits out Yemen’s Houthis, blasts Iran for impeding ceasefire efforts“The Iranians should not get a free pass here; what they are doing is negative,” ... Gulf
US blasts Iran-backed Houthis for failing to commit to Yemen ceasefire“Enough of the violence. And enough of the violations. It’s time for the Houthis ... Gulf
Battles between Yemeni forces, Iran-backed Houthis rage in several fronts in MaribBattles between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government forces and the ... Gulf
Yemeni model Entisar al-Hammadi kidnapped by Iran-backed Houthis: ActivistsYemeni model and actress Entisar al-Hammadi was kidnapped by Iran-backed Houthis ... Middle East
Iran-backed Houthis using textbooks to spread rhetoric among Yemeni children: ReportIran-backed Houthis have targeted the mainstream education system in Yemen by ... Middle East
Iran-backed Houthis must decide if they are with or against Yemeni people: USThe State Department told Al Arabiya that it did not recognize Iran's ambassador ... Gulf
US special envoy for Yemen held first direct meeting with Iran-backed Houthis: ReportUS President Joe Biden’s special envoy for Yemen met with officials from the ... Gulf