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Iranian-Backed Yemeni Rebels Block Formation of New Government

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Iranian back Houthi rebels are preventing the formation of a new government in Yemen.

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi named a top aide, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, to the post, the official news agency Saba reported. But the Houthi rebels said in a statement that the selection “makes a mockery of Yemen’s independence and sovereignty as well as the will of the people.” …

Critics say the Houthis are doing the bidding of Shiite-led Iran, which is vying for regional influence with Saudi Arabia.

When the Houthi rebels took control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa earlier this week, The Washington Post reported:

Only a few police officers and soldiers are left on the streets. Rebel fighters have plastered the city with fliers proclaiming their slogan — “Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory to Islam” — a variation of a popular Iranian slogan often chanted by Shiite militants in Iraq and supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. …

Now the Houthis, who many believe are backed by Shiite-led Iran, are poised to become Yemen’s version of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah — top power brokers dominating the government and running a virtual state-within-a-state.

The Post also noted that “neighboring Saudi Arabia is worried about a potential pro-Iranian outpost on its border.”

An analysis written by Dr. Jacques Neriah this week for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs warned that “a Houthi-controlled Yemen could evolve into a full-scale Iranian stronghold in the future and threaten freedom of movement through the Bab al Mandab Strait, the gateway to the Red Sea and a vital sea route between Europe and the Far East.”

President Hadi had blasted Iran’s support of the rebels in April of this year. Yemen was one of several Persian Gulf countries fighting off Iranian interference in their internal affairs.

[Photo: WochitGeneralNews / YouTube ]