Yemen has delivered some documents that confirm the role of Iranian clerics in supporting groups involved in the sedition and terrorism happening in the Sa'adah governorate and the Harf Sufyan district in northern Yemen, said Government Spokesman and Minister of Information, Hassan Ahmed al-Lowzi last Wednesday.
He announced that Yemen has delivered documents to Iranian authorities which prove the existence of Iranian involvement in the war. He added that no country would make formal accusations without evidence, and reiterated that “the evidence we have condemns some Iranian religious groups.”
The Yemeni spokesman said in an interview with the al-Jazeera channel that the role played by the formal Iranian media is either officially motivated or guided by other religious entities.
He added, “the formal Iranian radio has been openly hostile against the Yemeni republic, its security, and its armed forces.”
Al-Lowzi quoted many broadcasts with comments that demonstrated state interference in Yemeni affairs from media funded by Iran. In particular, he singled out the al-Alam channel which he said deliberately broadcasts information and logistical support.
He said that “the promises made by the Iranian brothers to stop their media from continuing their aggression and interference in Yemeni affairs have all been useless.”
Al-Lowzi emphasized that they respect Iran as a state and respect its people, pointing out that Yemen was the first Arabic government to recognize the Iranian regime, when they sent a large delegation of Yemeni clerics to bless Imam Khomeini.
Yemen is currently investigating five Iranians captured in a boat off of the Yemeni Midi coast, who entered Yemeni territorial waters illegally. Al-Lowzi confirmed the capture of the Iranian boat in Yemeni territorial waters, but said, “we should not be in a hurry, but we should wait for the results to be reached by the investigative authorities.”
The tension in Yemen's relations with Iran are due to their failure to prevent their government-funded media from interfering in Yemeni affairs. Al-Lowzi stated that the government welcomes the bilateral visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister, adding, “we are eager to address our affairs internally and don't want any state, whether Arab or Islamic, to act as if they have any kind of jurisdiction over Yemen's citizens, and we believe that the brothers in Iran understand this perspective of ours.”
Concerning the captured Iranian ship, the Iranian embassy denied that it was loaded with arms, as the Yemeni government has said.
The Iranian embassy issued a press release stressing that the news published by the concerned Yemeni authorities was false, groundless and fabricated.
In a statement issued by the embassy in Sana'a, officials said, “the above-mentioned vessel was on its way across the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, in order to continue its commercial activities. The vessel set sail from Sharjah and was free of any cargo. It is carrying official documents to prove it.”
The embassy added that the Yemeni news briefs regarding the ship were apparently made by people inexperience in publicity and only interested in spreading propaganda.
Before the ship entered Yemeni waters, it spent a week in Oman because of the death of one of its Indian crew members. After the crew had completed the relevant legal procedures, it continued its journey at a speed of eight knots, the statement explained.
Yemeni marine security authorities said that they caught the ship, which was carrying a number of Iranians, on its way to meet and support the Houthi elements.
Last Monady, an Iranian ship laden with various weapons believed to be for al-Houthi rebels was seized off the Yemeni coasts of the Midi harbor in the far north west of the country.
The 5-member crew, 4 Iranians and an Indian, were taken immediately to the capital, Sana'a, where investigations with them are going on now, the sources said.
The security sources believed that the ship was on its way to unload its weapon shipment, which includes anti-armor missiles, somewhere close to Haradh. The proposed plan was to hide the weapons in a farm, to be found and taken by al-Houthi rebels.
Midi harbor and Haradh area are only tens of kilometers from the western frontline of al-Malahaid.
Earlier on Monday, the Independent Paper al-Ahali said that the Iranian revolutionary guards train al-Houthi rebels in camps in neighboring Eritrea. The paper also said that the Iranian revolutionary guards transport the weapons through the Eritrean harbor of Asab to Yemen’s harbor of Midi.
To this end, the rebel leader, Abdullah al-Mahdoon, surrendered himself to the army earlier this month. Al-Mahdoon said in previous statements that al-Houthi rebels receive unlimited support from the Iranian revolutionary guards, and experts from the Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Al-Mahdoon also said that while preparing for this round of war before August 10th, 2009, the top rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi was always telling his fighters, “This is our last war, and everything will be in our favor."
Meanwhile, the army said Tuesday that at least 10 rebels were killed, including the field leader, Yahya Kazmah who was killed when the rebels implemented suicide attacks on the troops' posts in the areas around the city Sa'adah. The army also said it achieved progress in Harf Sufyan and al-Malahaid where air strikes target the hideouts and supply movements of the rebels almost daily.
Eyewitnesses in Razeh, west of Sa’adah, said that al-Houthi rebels will kill any citizen who has gun or refuse to fight with them. Al-Houthi rebels have been trying to open a new front by forcing the local people to fight with them. Two citizens were shot to death by Al-Houthi rebels on Monday for not agreeing to participate in fighting against the state, said eyewitnesses, who requested to stay anonymous.