By: Yoram Ettinger | CCNS
Since the 1978/79 revolution against the Shah of Iran, the Ayatollahs regime has adhered to its mega-goal of global Shite domination, developing mega-capabilities (nuclear, ballistic technologies, and worldwide terrorism), aiming to remove/subordinate its mega-obstacle, the USA.
During 1962-1970, then anti-US Egypt was involved in the Yemen civil war, as a springboard to topple the pro-US regime in Saudi Arabia and, subsequently, all other pro-US Arab regimes in a most critical region to global trade, oil, and security, the Arabian Peninsula.
Since 2011, Iran’s anti-US Ayatollahs are deeply involved in the Yemen civil war on the side of the anti-US Shite Houthis (“Soldiers of Allah”) – via Iranian and Hezbollah manpower, military supplies, training, and intelligence – as a springboard to oust the pro-US Sunni House of Saud (bordering North Yemen), and subsequently, all other pro-US Sunni regimes in the Arabian Peninsula.
In February 2021, the US removed Yemen’s Shite Houthis – who are Iran’s proxy – from the list of terrorist organizations, courted the rogue Ayatollahs regime, terminated US support of the pro-US Saudi military offensive against the anti-US Houthis, and pressured the Saudis on account of human rights violations. However, in November 2021, the Houthis stormed the US Embassy in Sanaa, holding a few of the local staff hostage, demonstrating – once again – that Islamic terrorists bite the hands that feed them.
Yemen’s geostrategic importance for the US
The limbs of the Iranian octopus extend from the Persian Gulf and Central Asia to the whole Middle East, Europe, Africa, South, Central, and North America, including Yemen, where Iran’s Ayatollahs outflank the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Aden, playing a decisive role in fueling the civil war, as a dagger aimed at its Sunni arch-rival, the pro-US Saudi Arabia.
Iran’s Ayatollahs are aware of the geostrategic significance of Yemen – regionally and globally – and its impact on the national security, homeland security, and economy of the US, “The Great Satan,” which they consider the most critical obstacle on their way to global domination.
The gravely underdeveloped Yemen plays a key role in the survival of the highly-vulnerable House of Saud, in particular, and all other pro-US oil-producing, strategically-situated Arab regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.
Yemen shares 1,458 and 288-kilometer-explosive borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman respectively and could serve as a land-sea-air base of Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs.
Yemen is an epicenter of regional and global Islamic terrorism and a platform for the 1,400-year-old intra-Muslim Sunni-Shia conflict, inherent intra-Sunni conflicts, and intra-Arab tribal fighting.
Yemen shares a maritime border with the inherently unstable, unpredictable, and non-democratic Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland, and Somalia in the strategically crucial Horn of Africa, controlling the Bab el Mandeb Strait (“Gate of Tears”), which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, and facilitating the European-Asian trade. Bab el Mandeb is critical to global energy security, in general, and the supply of Gulf oil to Europe, in particular, as well as the functioning of the Suez Canal, the economic stability of Egypt, and the safety of the prominent Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah.
Yemen’s prominence as a hub of critical shipping routes, and a site of actual and potential naval bases, is derived from the highly-strategic Yemen ports of Aden, Mukalla, Mocha, Al-Hudaydah, and the Yemen islands of Socotra (Arabian Sea), Perim, Zuqar, and Hanish (southern Red Sea).
While the US is the world largest oil producer, approaching energy independence, the price and supply of oil still largely depend upon Middle East oil, which accounts for 27% of world production and hinges on the safety of the Bab el Mandeb Strait and the southern part of the Red Sea.
Iran’s military involvement in Yemen
Iran’s intervention in the Yemen civil war on the side of the anti-US, anti-Saudi Shite Houthis minority against the Saudi-backed highly-fragmented Sunni majority, shifted into high gear in 2011, after the eruption of the Arab Tsunami (superficially known as “the Arab Spring”), which triggered the current turbulence, which is raging throughout the Middle East.
The significance of Iran’s (and Hezbollah’s) involvement has been evidenced by the recent successful Houthi military offensive, solidifying their control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, coalescing their domination of western and northern Yemen (along the border of Saudi Arabia), and their progress in the battle over Yemen’s oil and natural gas-producing area of Marib.
These Houthi gains have been made possible by Iranian finance, manpower, training, intelligence, and the supply of rockets, surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, and ammunition.
Also, the anti-US Houthis have employed the Iran-supplied drones and missiles to strike Riyadh, additional Saudi cities, Saudi oil installations, airports, and other civilian targets.
The Iran-US bottom line
Iran’s aggressive intervention reflects the imperialistic, fanatic vision and global policy of Iran’s Ayatollahs, which – contrary to the worldview of Western foreign policy and national security establishments – are not driven by despair, humiliation, economic deprivation, or local border disputes; are not amenable to compromise, compliance with agreements, peaceful-existence, human rights and democracy; and are not limited to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, but encompass the entire world, including South and Central America.
Iran’s Ayatollahs are energized by the apparent US shift of paradigm from military to diplomacy, the US rejection of the regime-change option, and the US tendency to accommodate and appease – rather than confront and crush – the rogue regime in Teheran.
This column was originally published at The Ettinger Report