The Free Iranian Staff
Less than a month after Ali Khamenei’s meeting with Saleh al-Arouri, deputy to Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Palestinian Islamist Organization’s political bureau in Hamas, and a large delegation in which Iran pledged to increase annual aid to Hamas from $100 million to $360 million, a Yemeni Houthi delegation has arrived in Tehran for a meeting with Khamenei.
The first ever meeting between the Houthis and Khamenei took place at the Supreme Leader’s residence behind closed doors, on Tuesday, August 13th. The Houthi delegation was headed by Mohammed Abdul Salam, a spokesman for Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, leader of the Zaidi revolution movement Ansar-Allah. Abdul Salam delivered a letter addressed Khamenei from Al-Houthi which read “you are a continuation of the line of the Prophet of Islam and the Guardian of Amir al-Mu’minin“. (below Tweet)
ماجرایی که نقل کردم براى چند سال پيش است. میخواستم معناى این جمله نمایندهی سید عبدالملک که در خبر دیدار امروز آمده روشن شود: «ما ولایت شما را امتداد خط پیامبر اسلام(ص) و ولایت امیرالمؤمنین(ع) میدانیم.»
— سیدکمیل باقرزاده (@Komail_Baqer) August 13, 2019
Abdul Salam himself tweeted: “In the meeting with the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, he affirmed his stand with the Yemeni leadership and people and support the unity of Yemen against attempts to fragmentation, considering Yemen as one state, and all the issues of the dispute should be resolved through a Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue without external interference, praising the authenticity of Yemen and the history and civilization that is unprecedented.” (below tweet)
في اللقاء مع القائد الاعلى للثورة الايرانية اكد وقوفه مع اليمن قيادة وشعبا ودعم وحدة اليمن ضد محاولات التفتيت معتبرا اليمن دولة واحدة ، وكل قضايا الخلاف يجب ان تحل من خلال حوار يمني يمني بدون تدخل خارجي مشيدا بأصالة اليمن وعراقة تاريخه وحضارته التي لا مثيل لها . pic.twitter.com/g7OIvPjHS9
— محمد عبدالسلام (@abdusalamsalah) August 13, 2019
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Lebanese Hezbollah have realized that flattering the Supreme Leader and other Khomeinist authorities is a catalyst to receiving more money and provisions.
During his meeting with the Houthi delegation, Khamenei, who is said to be growing evermore anxious about the escalation of regional tensions – especially in the Persian Gulf during recent weeks – and the U.S. led maximum pressure campaign, treated the members of this Houthi delegation as those who should lead the next government. Vehemently opposing the possibility of Yemen’s separation, he urged the rebel leaders to show a stronger stance against Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Khamenei also attacked the “Western world’s indifference towards the crimes committed in Yemen”.
The Houthi leaders who were housed at Tehran’s Hotel Espinas, also visited their militia training camp in west Tehran’s Cheetgar district.
A Saudi-led coalition which includes the UAE, has been fighting to reinstate Yemen’s internationally recognized leadership in a catastrophic four-year war with the Khomeinist regime-backed Houthis. Tens of thousands have been killed and the poverty-stricken country has been pushed to the brink of famine. The conflict has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and displaced nearly 3.3 million since 2015. According to the United Nations approximately 20 million people which constitutes two thirds of the country’s population require humanitarian support.
The Houthis, who control the capital Sana’a and most of Yemen’s other populous areas, have stepped up attacks in recent months against targets in Saudi Arabia, including civilian installations. In response, a Saudi-led coalition has targeted military sites belonging to the Houthis, especially around Sana’a.
Despite the deaths of Houthi leader Abdul Malik Houthi’s brother, Ibrahim al-Houthi in last week’s events, the Houthis’ seem to be advancing on the Saudi-UAE coalition forces, and they have shown considerable military capability in attacking Saudi targets even on Saudi soil.
Saudi Arabia has suffered several defeats in several battles, but it is unlikely that it will easily give up the scene in Yemen to the Khomeinist regime, its arch regional and sectarian enemy, or even its ally, the UAE.
Anwar Gargash, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweet the following:
Houthi relations with Iran, for long in search for proper designation, is clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei. Stated in black & white in their statement of fealty the Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology.
— د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) August 14, 2019
One of Iran’s strategic goals in continuing to support Yemeni Houthis, other than showing superiority to Saudi and Emirates in Tehran’s rival camps, is access to Yemen ports and the Bab al-Mandab waterway which provides access to the Red Sea. This will bring the Khomeinist regime closer access to Israel as well offering Tehran accessibility to surrounding countries, such as Egypt.
Persian Gulf states have long complained of the Khomeinist regime’s interference in Arab states’ affairs, from Iraq, to Syria, Lebanon and now Yemen.