The main task of the Iranian embassy in Sana’a is to provide financial, intelligence and military support for Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Ali Abdulla Saleh against the legal Yemeni government. The Iranian embassy in Sana’a has turned from a diplomatic center into an operations command center. Prior to the war that began in March of this year, Iran was supporting the Houthis by sending them weapons through air and land. Every week, 14 planes flew from Tehran to Sana’a.
Dr. Riyadh Yassin Abdullah, Yemen’s Foreign Minister, explained to the Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily that the Iranian embassy in Sana’a is the Houthis’ operations center. Within the Iranian embassy in Sana’a there is a central operation, control and intelligence command and it is also the center for money distribution to the Houthis.
Dr. Yassin said: “despite an air and land blockade, the Iranian embassy is giving away a lot of facilities to the Houthis, which is a lot more than Yemen’s legal government.” He was surprised that despite all foreign embassies moving to Eden, the Iranian embassy is still in Sana’a. The Yemeni FM stressed that Iran’s role in the Coup against the legal government in Yemen is obvious and a number of Iranian IRGC forces were arrested in Yemen and the legal Yemeni government has obtained a large amount of Iranian documents that reveal Iran’s role in supporting the Houthi militias and Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces.
In the beginning of September 2015, after Iran’s defeats in Yemen and Iraq, an urgent session of the Supreme National Security Council was held with the presence of the Yemeni Ansarollah, Quds Force representative, Quds Force representative to Iraq and the Iranian ambassador to Iraq. The Ansarollah representative took part in the first half hour of the meeting and gave a report on the latest situation in Yemen and the advancement of Yemeni forces; their measures and the conditions of ammunitions and supplies of the Ansarollah. The Yemeni representative in this session explained about the poor conditions of their weaponry and said that their weapons and ammunitions will soon come to an end and Sana’a will fall.
The situation of war in Yemen was assessed by the Supreme National Security Council. There were two views in this assessment; one came from the foreign affairs ministry that was supported by Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s FM, who believed that Yemen’s situation doesn’t have a military solution and Iran must enter negotiations with the Saudis. Recently Saudi Arabia responded to Zarif’s letter and said that they are ready for negotiations. Zarif pointed out to the remarks of the Houthi representative saying that sooner or later Yemen will fall to the Saudis. The second view that was represented by Quds Force commanders rejected any negotiations with the Saudis and said that currently the Saudis have the upper hand and we mustn’t enter negotiations with them. They will enter with a higher leverage and Iran will end up losing the negotiations. Therefore we must help the Ansarollah militias to attack the areas they’ve lost and retake them and then enter negotiation with the Saudis. In order to prove their point they said that we have the experience of Syria, which was a very good one. They also said that aiding the Houthis in Yemen comes with its own problems, yet we have experience in this regard and we can aid them through sea routes. They said that we must ask the US to end its intelligence support to the Saudis so that we could help Yemen easier.
In the end the Supreme National Security Council decided that if the Saudis intend to carry out their final attack against Sana’a, Iran will officially enter the war in Yemen and do everything it can to hold the Ansarollah in power. Iran will also use air and sea routes and through Amman to give military aid. Iran’s aids will include various small and heavy arms and short-range and long-range missiles.
Quds Force commanders in the meeting said that we are not going to dispatch ground forces to Yemen yet we will use other Jihadi groups in other countries such as Iraq and of course Ansarollah has said that they don’t have man shortage and only need developed weaponry.
One of the Quds Force commanders in the session said: “the Yemen war will probably last between 4 to 7 years and we must prepare ourselves. We have expensed hundreds of millions of dollars in our foreign policies therefore we must make it to the end of the path and continue.”
In this session Khamenei’s representative said: “whether the nuclear deal is adopted or not, this will be our foreign policy therefore base your decisions on Iran’s current policy and not what the US wants from us. Taking this into consideration, if the Yemen war lasts not 7 years but 70 years, Iran is ready to aid the revolutionary forces of this country.”
From what is realized from the Supreme National Security Council session, Iran has decided to continue its interventions in Yemen. Iran’s plan is to send sophisticated weaponry and ammunition to Yemen for the Ansarollah group and forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh. It will also use Shiite groups affiliated to the Quds Force in other countries such as Iraq and dispatch them to Yemen.