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Washington Policy Strikes Tehran Aspirations in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Dr. Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, Yemen’s ambassador to the US, lambasts the Houthis. (PHOTO COURTESY NCUSAR)

London- Realizing February statements made by US-based Yemeni diplomat, Washington strategy in Yemen shifted towards increased military cooperation with the Saudi-led Arab coalition backing the internationally recognized government headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Earlier in February, Yemeni Ambassador to the United States Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington’s policy is fixed on finding a political solution in Yemen. However that solution will not play into Iran’s expectations or compromise regional security, particularly Gulf safety.

When addressing the policy shift, Mubarak said that “it confirmed central interest in securing international navigation, which is a fundamental issue.”

The Trump administration is well aware of the depth of Iran’s interference in Yemen today, Mubarak told Asharq Al-Awsat in a phone call.

Washington will not allow for Iran to exploit Yemeni territory, so that it becomes a secured arms-trafficking route serving their ends, he added.

A number of reports this week stated that Trump is considering providing assistance for an offensive on the key port of Hodeidah that is held by Iran-backed putschists in Yemen and has already increased intelligence sharing and logistics support.

All the more, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis came out saying that Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East would have to be overcome to end the conflict in Yemen, as the United States weighs increasing support to the Saudi-led coalition.

“We will have to overcome Iran’s efforts to destabilize yet another country and create another militia in their image of Lebanese Hezbollah, but the bottom line is we are on the right path for it,” Mattis told reporters in Riyadh after meeting senior Saudi officials.

Christiaan James, who is a spokesperson at the State Department, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington will continue working with its allies to put an end to Iran funding militias in the Middle East.

“We have constantly raised our concerns on Iran’s destabilizing action in the region and continue to hold the Iranian government accountable for those actions through all accessible means,” he said.

“Iran continues to be a state sponsor of terrorism and Washington continues imposing all sanctions irrelevant to the nuclear deal,” James added.