Yemen Takes a Deep Breath as Iran Proxies Surrender
The people of Yemen finally were able to take a deep breath as Ismail Ould Cheek Ahmed, the United Nations special envoy to the country recently announced Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels have succumbed to the terms of U.N. Security Council resolution 2216. This is a major step in line to end a war ravaging for years, providing Iran a new playground in the backyard of its archrival, Saudi Arabia, to spread havoc and exacerbate Islamic fundamentalism further across the Middle East.
UNSC resolution 2216 brings an end to all war operations and binds the Shiite Houthis – now considered persona non grata in Yemen – to put down all their weapons, accept the Gulf states’ initiative, take part in national dialogue and accept the outcomes after pro-government loyalists have made a significant charge towards the capital. Iran is supporting the Houthis through its Quds Force, a deadly hybrid of special ops and intelligence operatives acting as the foreign wing of the notorious Revolutionary Guards.
The UN envoy announced in New York all feuding parties in Yemen have come to terms over a ceasefire to be imposed at midnight of April 10th. Arrangements have also been made for a third round of talks between the warring parties, to be hosted by Kuwait 8 days after the ceasefire kicks in. This major turn of events, which should not be taken as a mere modus vivendi, has plunged Iran into deep thoughts, very concerned of any outcome against its interests in the region.
As the UN envoy has explained the goal of this ceasefire is for the Houthis – now somewhat at odds with Iran – to retreat from all cities, handover heavy weaponry to the central government, implementing security measures across war-stricken Yemen, the internationally-recognized government returning to Sana’a and political dialogue reinitiating for the better sake of the country’s future. A special committee is also to be appointed to address the issue of prisoners held by the warring sides. The Houthis, now merely a nebulous of scattered cell structures, have apparently heeded calls to end this lethal conflict.
The new round of negotiations may truly be the last opportunity to end the deadly war in Yemen, and all sides must be especially aware of any possible sinister plots deployed by Tehran. There are also rumors about Russia and Oman playing a direct role in backroom deal-makings aimed at exiting former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Salah and his family from Sana’a in return for Republican Guard units to lay down their arms, end their slow-rolling and return control over the capital without any clashes. Russia and Oman have also demanded impunity for Salah.
At stake and utterly vital is the better interest of the Yemeni nation. This is a bedrock factor realize and achieve this very important goal, it is crucial to understand that blocking Iran’s meddling in Yemen, and across the region, is the first and foremost step down this road. As the nations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and many other countries have come to learn during the past four decades, their prosperity lies in the central tenet of evicting any and all traces of the regime ruling Iran and its proxies from their lands. Needed now is a consolidated, united front in the Middle East, and beyond, against the mullahs sitting on the throne in Tehran, especially as they lament defeats across the region.
Follow Pejamn Amiri at @pj_arad