The US hopes the recent departure of Iran’s ambassador from Yemen is a sign that the country’s people realize the “profoundly destabilizing role” Tehran plays in the country, a State Department official said Monday.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Iran’s ambassador to the Houthis – a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – had been sent back after they grew frustrated with him.
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Iran claims that Hassan Irlu left Yemen to be treated for coronavirus after testing positive.
Asked by Al Arabiya English to comment on Irlu’s departure, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said: “We do hope that the departure of the Iranian ambassador from Yemen… is a sign that Yemenis understand the profoundly destabilizing role that Iran has been playing in their country for some time now.”
He added that Iran’s support for armed groups threatened international and regional security.
“It threatens our forces, our diplomatic personnel, and our partners in the region and elsewhere,” Price said. The Houthis continue to detain local US staff in Yemen after they carried out operations in October, and they also breached the US Embassy compound.“We as an administration are committed to countering the destabilizing influence and role that Iran is playing throughout the region, including with its support to proxies and other elements in Yemen,” Price said.
As for US diplomatic efforts to resolve the yearslong war in Yemen, Price said the Houthis continue to pose a “serious obstacle” to peace efforts.
Welcoming recent UN Security Council statements to condemn the Houthi offensive and actions in Yemen, Price said the Iran-backed group was also exacerbating the humanitarian conditions on the ground.
Earlier Monday, the Arab Coalition carried out strikes on what it said were military targets at the Sanaa Airport.
The strikes came after multiple bomb-laden drones targeted civilians and airports in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.
Price said there had been at least 400 cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the war. He added that the US was committed to supporting Saudi Arabia to defend itself from Houthi attacks and threats