Iran is supporting the Houthis with weapons and money in Yemen, including helping them on the ground to build arms factories, according to Saudi Ambassador in the United States Adel Al-Jubeir.
Speaking at a press conference with American and Arab journalists in Washington on Monday, Al-Jubeir said this is also the view of the American administration.
“Iran provides financial support for the Houthis, helps them build weapon factories, and gives them weapons. In addition, that there are Iranians working alongside the Houthis,” Al-Jubeir told journalists.
The envoy cited reports that the US has already intercepted an Iranian cargo ship loaded with weapons and missiles destined for the Houthis, saying: “When I talk with US officials, they know that this is what the Iranians are doing with the Houthis. There is no difference between us and the United States of America relating to Iran’s support for the Houthis.”
The Saudi diplomat reportedly warned foreign governments not to underplay the role of Iran and its Revolutionary Guards in backing the Houthis and other insurgent forces in the Middle East.
Al-Jubeir drew comparisons to the Lebanese militia, Hezbollah, and claims in the 1980s that it was largely an independent actor from Iran, even while it received money, weapons and training from the Revolutionary Guards. This analysis was wrong, Al-Jubeir said.
“We don’t want people to make the same mistake with the Houthis,” he said.
“Operation Decisive Storm is ongoing and we are in the process of destroying weapons that may pose a threat to the Kingdom, whether they are air weapons or ballistic missiles or heavy weapons, and we have destroyed Al-Houthi’s centers of command,” he said.
He said there continues to be support for the coalition from partners and allies around the world, including France, Britain and the US.
Al-Jubeir said there are efforts underway to find a political solution to the crisis and ensure a stable Yemen. Yemenis should reach an agreement based on the Gulf initiative and the results of the national dialogue, he said.
“We are sure that this process cannot be carried out without the presence of a legitimate government and adhering to a number of principles which prohibit any use of force or possession of heavy weapons by any group outside the legitimate security forces in the country,” he said.