Brian Hook: We won’t permit Iran to Lebanonize Yemen

Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, hold a poster of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah during a gathering to show their support to Hezbollah in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)

United States Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told Al Arabiya English that Washington “would save no effort to prevent Iran from Lebanonizing Yemen”.

He added in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya English that US is committed to the efforts led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and that they have called to an urgent end to the fighting in Yemen.

However, he added that “we have also said that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates need to defend themselves against the Iranian-backed Houthi attacks. And the Houthis continue to violate the ceasefire”.

He said that “what has been underreported especially by the US press is the role Iran has played to prolong and deepen the war in Yemen”.

“Iran bears a lot of responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and I think the blame had been misallocated, and it’s important for people to understand that Iran has spent hundreds of millions of dollars organizing training and equipment for the Houthis to fight at a level well beyond what makes any sense for the Houthis,” he said.

The US Special Representative for Iran stressed that US is working toward “bringing an end to the fighting and a political solution, however we have to keep our eye on Iran. We cannot allow Iran to do in Yemen what it accomplished in Lebanon, we cannot permit them to Lebanonize Yemen on Saudi’s southern border”.

He said that the United States and its coalition partners have provided billions in aid to the Yemenis, while Iran has provided nothing but weapons and fighters.

He emphasized that Washington “is aware that Iran will try to become a power broker in Yemen, they have no legitimate interest in Yemen and they need to get out” asserting that Iran must leave all regions which it destabilized.

Previously US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, in a speech to the American University in Cairo, that US will work with allies to "expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria.

Pompeo warned there would be no US reconstruction aid for areas controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad until Iran and its proxies had left.

Pompeo was speaking in Cairo three weeks after President Donald Trump said US troops were pulling out of Syria.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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