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Iranian-Backed Yemeni Rebels Block Formation of New Government

The Associated Press reported Tuesday [1] 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 [2]:

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 [3] 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 [4] in April of this year. Yemen was one of several Persian Gulf countries fighting off Iranian interference in their internal affairs.

[Photo: WochitGeneralNews / YouTube [5] ]