Breaking: Biden admin not serious to stop war in Yemen: Yemeni politician
TEHRAN – A senior member of the political office of the Yemeni Ansarullah says the new Biden administration is not serious to put an end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen or halt the siege on the impoverished Yemeni people.
“They are not serious in stopping the aggression and lifting the siege on the Yemeni people, otherwise Biden would make the decision to end the war and lift the siege directly,” Hezam al-Assad tells the Tehran Times.
The Ansarullah movement was blacklisted by the former U.S. President Donald Trump just days before Joe Biden begins his job as a new president.
In a report on February 16, Al Jazeera reported that the Biden administration has formally delisted Yemen’s Houthi movement as a “foreign terrorist organization” and “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”.
Also on February 4, the Biden administration announced that it would end the U.S. support for offensive operations for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, a year after the northern-based Houthis kicked President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour out of the capital Sanaa.
“Removing Ansarullah from terrorist groups did not come as a desire to talk or a preparation to bring peace to Yemen,” the politician argues.
Amid the new U.S. administration’s efforts to restore the image of the United States after Trump’s reckless policies, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, also visited Tehran to discuss political solutions for Yemen based on negotiations between the warring sides.
He announced that he met Iranian officials to talk about possible ways of stopping the war in Yemen, supporting an agreement between the warring parties for a ceasefire, sending humanitarian aid to the country, and resuming the political process.
The following is the text of the interview:
Q: How do you evaluate the efforts of the United Nations to end the war on Yemen?
A: The international role is very unproductive and almost represents the interests of Western powers, where the UN envoy Martin Griffiths as a British national always gives the political cover for aggression launched by the Saudi-led coalition and provides justifications for all war crimes committed against our people.
The killing is ongoing through an unjust and suffocating siege that violates international and legal norms, and in all his briefings to the Security Council, Griffiths praises the criminal Saudi regime, describing its role in Yemen as humanitarian even after massacres against children and women.
Q: In his visit to Tehran, Griffiths discussed ways to end the war in Yemen with Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and other officials. What were the results of the visit?
A: Unfortunately, Griffiths represents the United Kingdom, not the United Nations. In fact, he failed in his mission as an international mediator.
He tried, through his visit to the Islamic Republic, to give an impression that the Yemeni people who defend themselves are being led under the direction of Tehran.
It was a move to give legitimacy through media to the regimes that launched an aggression on Yemen in an effort to justify their interference and crimes against the Yemeni people.
He knows well that the solidarity of the Islamic Republic with the Yemeni people doesn’t mean dictating policies and directing the Yemeni leaders, especially since the Yemeni people are in a position to defend themselves in the face of foreign aggression waged by 17 states, led by the U.S.
The Iranian position during Griffith’s visit to Tehran reflects a logical and fair response to those who claim peace while practicing aggression, killing, and continuous blockade for six years.
Q: What is your comment on the new U.S. administration’s decision to reverse Trump’s designation of Ansarullah as a foreign terrorist organization?
A: Trump’s decision to classify Ansarullah as a terrorist organization came on the last days of his administration; it came in the context of the state of confusion and crisis that Washington experienced politically, and the repercussions of that classification would have been negative for the Biden administration and the American people.
Removing Ansarullah from terrorist groups did not come as a desire to talk or a preparation to bring peace to Yemen.
They are not serious in stopping the aggression and lifting the siege on the Yemeni people, otherwise, Biden would make the decision to end the war and lift the siege directly.
Q: How would you describe the role Saudi Arabia is playing in the war on Yemen?
A: The Saudi regime serves the U.S. and Britain in the region and is not able to take any decision independently and has no control over its territory, so it is not entitled to be a decision-maker for war or peace.
Trump has previously stated that had it not been for Washington, Saudi Arabia would not have been able to fly its planes.