President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, has earned the praise of officials in Yemen who are saying the move has directly resulted in Iran’s diminished role there.
“There is still some support” from Iran for the anti-government Houthi rebels, Abd-Rabbo Moftah, deputy governor of the Yemen city of Ma’rib told Fox News.
“But we have seen it drop since the U.S. pulled out. Any way that support from Iran is lessened, is helpful in stopping the war. The Houthis were feeding on this deal and legitimacy,” Moftah said.
Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Ambassador of Yemen to the U.S. and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, reportedly said Iran was able to increase “its military and financial support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen” following the implementation of the JCPOA under former President Barack Obama.
“Nevertheless, the clear-eyed President Trump’s Iran strategy, along with withdrawing from the Iran deal and demanding that Iran cease its destabilizing behavior in the region, has made clear to Iran and its proxies in Yemen that meddling in the region will not be overlooked again,” Mubarak said.
He added that as a result of Trump’s “strong and positive signals,” Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are beginning to engage more with the peace process and said, “So withdrawing from the Iran deal will definitely contribute to the end of the war in Yemen.”
The devastating war in Yemen has been in progress for four years. Iran has used Houthi rebels in the nation to wage a proxy war against its regional nemesis Saudi Arabia.
In May, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on five Iranians linked with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who allegedly provided ballistic missile support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen which they then used to attack Saudi Arabia.
The names of the men targeted in the sanctions are Mahmud Bagheri Kazemabad, Mohammad Agha Jafari, Javad Bordbar Shir Amin, Mehdi Azarpisheh, and Sayyed Mohammad Ali Haddadnezhad Tehrani.
Five months before that, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presented the fragments of a ballistic missile launched by the Houthis into Saudi Arabia that bore the distinct signature of Iranian manufacture Shahid Bagger Industries.
At the time Haley said, “In this warehouse is concrete evidence of illegal Iranian weapons proliferation, gathered from direct military attacks on partners in the region.”
In response to this, Iran’s mission to the UN claimed Haley had presented “fabricated” information her announcement and denounced the allegations as “irresponsible, provocative and destructive,” saying “this purported evidence … is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier.”
The record appeared to prove otherwise.