After an Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen fired a ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia, the White House condemned the attack, in solidarity with Saudi Arabia, and called for an investigation into whether Iran is fueling the war in Yemen.
“These missile systems were not present in Yemen before the conflict, and we call upon the United Nations to conduct a thorough examination of evidence that the Iranian regime is perpetuating the war in Yemen to advance its regional ambitions,” said the White House, in a statement.
It also called on “all nations to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its repeated violations of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 2216 and 2231, which ban arms transfers to the Houthis and prohibit Iran from exporting all arms and related materiel and specifically ballistic missile-related items.”
The Trump administration has taken a strong stance against the Iranian regime, which fuels sectarian violence in the Muslim world and is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. The regime also calls for the destruction of Israel and the United States.
The new strategy on Iran, released on Oct. 13, says that the United States will prevent Iran from destabilizing other nations and from supporting terrorist and militant groups. The U.S. strategy will also “revitalize” alliances to build “bulwarks against Iranian subversion.”
It also states it will deny funding to the Iranian military’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (IRGC), which Iran uses as a weapon for subversion and terrorism.
“Iran is under the control of a fanatical regime that seized power in 1979 and forced a proud people to submit to its extremist rule,” President Donald Trump said on Oct. 13 when he announced his strategy on Iran.
“This radical regime has raided the wealth of one of the world’s oldest and most vibrant nations, and spread death, destruction, and chaos all around the globe,” he said.
The stance is a sharp break from the Obama administration’s policy on Iran, which provided Iran with $1.7 billion in 2015 in exchange for the Islamist regime agreeing to delay its nuclear weapons development until 2026.
The Obama administration also paid Iran $400 million as part of a deal to release American hostages in August 2016.
In Yemen, the situation is growing more dire, as Iran continues to back Houthi rebels in a fight against the local government. This has led to extreme famine, as 70 percent of Yemenites now rely on humanitarian aid for survival, and Houthi rebels have been targeting civilians and aid workers.
“The situation of the civilian population is dire, and millions of people face starvation,” stated ReliefWeb, a service of the humanitarian branch of the United Nations, on March 20.
During an Oct. 19 press briefing, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the United States views the crisis in Yemen as “one that’s manmade,” noting that 21 million of Yemen’s people are in need of humanitarian aid and 842,000 may be suffering from cholera.
Nauert addressed the conflict again during a Nov. 7 press briefing, stating: “We’ve seen the activities of Iran in Yemen. We’ve seen the hand of Iran in Syria. We’ve seen the hand of Iran elsewhere. … Where they show up, trouble tends to follow.”
The recent White House statement said the Houthi missile attack against Saudi Arabia was “enabled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps” and that the attacks “threaten regional security and undermine U.N. efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict.”
“The United States seeks a negotiated settlement to the conflict and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people,” it stated. “The United States will continue working with other like-minded partners to respond to these attacks and expose the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities in the region.”