Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, has asserted that the Iranian-backed Houthi movement will not be allowed to take over Yemen while accusing Iran of causing much unrest in the region on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters from Beijing, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said it’s Houthis’ move on whether peace talks resume:
“What is certain, not questionable, certain, [Houthis] will not be allowed to take over Yemen. Period. So the legitimate government will be defended. The chance they have is to enter the political process, reach an agreement … for the benefit of all Yemenis including the Houthis. We see Iran supporting Houthis in Yemen and trying to take over the government, supply weapons to the Houthis, smuggle explosives to Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. We wish we could be as good neighbors like before the 1979 revolution [and now] it’s up to Iran to mend its behavior.”
The United Nations-sponsored talks trying to end the 18 month long fighting ended in failure this month as the Shia Houthi Ansarullah fighters and forces loyal to former Yemen president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, resumed shelling into Saudi Arabia. The talks faltered after the Houthis and Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) announced they formed a 10-member governing council, thus ignoring the U.N.’s Yemeni envoy’s (Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed) warning that it would violate the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions on how to resolve the conflict.
Saudi Arabia has long contended that the Shia Houthi Ansarullah are being used in Iran’s proxy war against the kingdom and have launched a military operation to restore Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power (Hadi resigned as president of Yemen in January 2015). Despite the efforts of Saudi Arabia’s intentions, the Houthis have maintained a hold on the embattled country that has now claimed the lives of more than 10,000 in the 18 month-long civil war (earlier this year, the FARS News agency reported that Houthi rebels seized U.S.-made missiles from a Saudi Arabian military base).