Iran’s foreign minister thanks Yemen’s Houthis for their response to Israel-Hamas war

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with a senior Houthi official in Tehran on Monday, thanking the Yemeni group for its response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, state media reported.

In the meeting with Houthi spokesman and chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam, Iran’s top diplomat thanked the Tehran-backed Houthis for their “strong and authoritative position in support of the oppressed people of Palestine,” state news agency IRNA reported.

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According to the agency, Abdulsalam expressed gratitude to Iran for its “continuous political support to the Resistance Front,” a network of regional militant groups supported by Tehran that includes the Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, various militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen.

Since November, the Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea, justifying their actions as support for Palestinians amid the ongoing war between the Gaza-based Hamas and Israel, which began on October 7.

The Houthi attacks pose a threat to a crucial transit route responsible for up to 12 percent of global trade. In response, the US established a multinational naval task force last month to safeguard shipping in the Red Sea.

On Sunday, US Navy helicopters sank three Houthi-operated vessels that had attacked a container ship in the Red Sea, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. Confirming the clash, the Houthis, who seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014 and control much of the country including its Red Sea coastline, acknowledged 10 fighters dead or missing.

Also on Monday, state-affiliated media in Iran reported that an Iranian warship had entered the Red Sea after passing through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

In its report, the Tasnim news agency, which is said to be close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), did not specify the details of the Alborz’s mission but highlighted the implications of the Gaza war on the wider region. “Following rising tensions in the Gaza war, there has been an acceleration in developments in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait,” it said.

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