U.S. says Iran helped Houthis seize Yemen
Kerry says Iranian leaders appear ‘surprised’ by the latest turn of events in Yemen
Iran has “contributed” to the Houthi militia’s takeover of Yemen and the collapse of the government there, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.
Speaking to U.S. lawmakers, Kerry agreed that Tehran’s support for the Houthi militia was “critical” for the rebels, but he added Iranian leaders appeared to have been “surprised” by the events in the Gulf country and “are hoping to see a national dialogue” take place.
The Houthi militiamen seized the capital Sanaa in September and laid siege to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's residence, prompting his resignation and leading to a political vacuum.
But Hadi escaped to Aden in southern Yemen last week after a month under house arrest and on Tuesday he officially recanted his resignation.
On Tuesday he retracted his resignation and now holds court guarded by thousands of tribesmen and army loyalists from the mainly Sunni Muslim south.
The Houthi rebels said Hadi had lost his legitimacy as head of state and he was being sought as a fugitive from justice.
“The higher revolutionary committee is following the suspicious moves by Hadi, who lost his legitimacy to act as president of the Republic of Yemen, and whose reckless acts harmed the Yemeni people,” the Houthi group said in a statement, its first official reaction since Hadi fled.
Sources close to the president told Reuters he is considering declaring Aden as Yemen's interim capital until Sanaa is taken back from the Houthis. Loyalist army units and tribesmen from Hadi's neighboring province of Abyan now run the city and much of the south.
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