Yemeni-Iranian ties worsen
By Nasser Arrabyee/02/10/2012
The Sunni Islah, Yemen brotherhood branch, demanded this week that the Iranian ambassador to Sanaa should be dismissed and Yemeni students should be prevented from going for study in Iran.
Islah is one of four main parties that form the national unity government that is running a transitional period on the basis of a Saudi-sponsored and American backed deal called the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, GCC Initiative.
The former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's party, General People Congress GPC, semi-secular, has 50 per cent of the national unity government, while the Islamist Islah is having majority of the remaining seats and dominating the dominating its nominal partners of leftists and Arab nationalists.
The Iran-backed Shiite Houthi movement is almost in a war with Islah as each one of them wants to inherit the power after Ali Abdullah Saleh, who handed power according to the GCC initiative after early elections in February 2012.
Hundreds were killed and injured in sporadic clashes between Al Houthi followers and Islah followers in at least four northern provinces, Amran, Al Jawf, Hajja, and Saada, the main stronghold of Al Houthi movement that struggles for a self-rule in these provinces.
During the crisis of 2011, Al Houthi was the second biggest beneficiary after Al Qaeda from the chaos and insecurity resulted from the uprising and absence of the government. Al Houthi recruited more followers from all provinces as the movement was very active in almost all protest squares. Islah may ignore any activity by Al Qaeda but it can not be tolerant to Al Houthi.
Al Houthi followers and Islah members and supporters were in almost daily clashes even in the protests squares.
Now the campaign by Islah against Al Houthi and Iran is even harder than ever before because the Shiite activity is increasingly developing inside the capital Sanaa and other main cities.
The slogan of Al Houthi, for instance, can be seen anywhere in Sanaa and its outskirts after it was only in Saada and some other limited areas. The slogan, death to America, death to Israel, curse to Jews, and victory to Islam, is written on plastic bags used for goods from shops.
In the international book exhibition being held in Sanaa now, you can see a part of the exhibition allocated for the books and publications of the Shiite Al Houthi movement, something that never happened before.
All this angered Islah and made it think that Iran was behind such a growing expansions of Al Houthi.
The spokesman of Islah Fathi Al Azab, said " Iran violates our national sovereignty and interferes in our affairs, and undermine our security. Iran wants to be a guardian on us."
And even Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi during his current visit to US and a number of western countries, he repeatedly accused Iran of interference in Yemen's affairs. President Hadi, oringally from the south, accused Iran of supporting the southern armed movement that demands separation. Also Hadi said Iran supported Yemeni journalists and politicians to spoil the transition deal that was sponsored by Saudi Arabia and particularly supported US. President Hadi said six spy networks were discovered in Yemen working for Iran.
Iran denied all accusations saying it is supporting security and stability and unity of Yemen. The foreign ministry of Iran summoned the Yemeni acting ambassador to Tehran earlier this week to tell him they were displeased by the President Hadi statements.
Those who accuse Iran of supporting the separation of the south, say if South of Yemen secedes, this will embolden Al Houthi to secede and establish a state in the north of the north. A Shiite state in the southern border of Saudi Arabia and will pose a big threat to the Saudi Sunni kingdom, and will increase the influence of the Shiite Iran.
Islah party is gaining political interests from Saudi Arabia by accusing Iran and fighting Al Houthis, " Iran agents" as Islah call them sometimes.