Iran and not peace is what matters for Houthis

The United States and the European Union are convinced today of the need to end the war, which is what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has now also realised.
Thursday 25/03/2021
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi is a Yemeni political figure who is former President of the Revolutionary Committee or Revolutionary Counci delivers a speech in Sana’a. (AFP)
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi is a Yemeni political figure who is former President of the Revolutionary Committee or Revolutionary Counci delivers a speech in Sana’a. (AFP)

The Saudi ceasefire initiative in Yemen will not be approved by the Houthis. There is no surprise there. The Houthis view their own position and the regional situation through Iranian eyes. They are satisfied with what meets Iranian interests and opposed to whatever is inconsistent with those interests.

And since Iran has used the war in Yemen as a card to pressure the United States, because of the danger that the Houthi military movement poses to American interests, it is neither acceptable nor permissible from their standpoint for the Yemeni crisis to be handled in a way that serves all Yemeni parties, including the Houthi side itself, which will certainly not come out as a loser from any negotiations between Yemenis.

The problem with the Houthis is that they identify their interests with those of Iran. They even put these ahead of their own, as they are ideology-driven. They look at their cause in terms of sectarian expediency even if it separates them from others, not in terms of national necessity that unites them with other parties. Therefore, they do not see compliance with Iranian dictates as a deviation from their principles.

However, there is an obstacle that the Houthis will face when they eventually declare their categorical rejection of the Saudi initiative. It is the fact that the initiative has received the blessing of the largest part of the international community,  from which Iran is seeking to concessions in a new nuclear agreement.

The international community has become more convinced than before of the need to end the war in Yemen. That is not because of the  humanitarian motives which the Houthis advance publicly while working to end the arms embargo, but rather because of genuine world concern at the fate of people in Yemen, who are on the edge of the abyss if they have not fallen into it already.

The United States and the European Union are convinced of the need to end the war. Realising this, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia cut to the chase and announced its peace initiative that removes the Iranian cover from  he Houthis. It would also put them in direct confrontation with the world. It is not unlikely that the international community will impose a peace settlement on Yemen, as it has in Libya. Will the Houthis be able to confront the world militarily, for example?

The Houthis, having fallen into the ideological pit that ensured them supplies of Iranian money and weapons throughout the years of their war, cannot think rationally in a way that would guarantee their future within a national framework that brings together all Yemeni parties.

They are just a sectarian gang that was previously defeated in six wars. They have more than once violated signed agreements and continued to do so, taking advantage of the chaos of the “Arab spring” that led to the collusion of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh whom they later killed. This gang has fought over for many years in defence of Iran’s interests, acting as Tehran’s proxy on the Red Sea.