Iranian officials have praised Yemen’s Houthis for their response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, ignoring American and British calls to end support for the militant group as they consider a formal warning.
Iranian state news agency IRNA reported that Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with a senior Houthi official in Tehran on Monday and spoke of the Houthis’ “strong and authoritative position in support of the oppressed” Palestinian people.
Abdulsalam also expressed gratitude for the “continuous support to the Resistance Front,” which is a network of regional terrorist and militant groups supported by Tehran and includes Hamas, Hezbollah and various proxy groups across the area, according to the Al Arabiya news channel.
The Houthis began attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea over the past month, with the U.S. Navy warning that it sees no sign that the group will scale back its attacks in the near future.
The Houthis have launched about two dozen attacks on international shipping since Oct. 19, saying that the attacks are aimed at Israel-linked ships to blunt the Jewish state’s military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The group also called for Israel to allow full supplies of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
The Navy shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired toward a Maersk container ship on Saturday after another missile already hit the Denmark-owned vessel. U.S. forces responded with two helicopters and sank three of the Houthi vessels and killed the crews while a fourth boat fled the area. The U.S. suffered no damage to personnel or equipment.
American and British officials called for Iran to cut its support for the attacks across the region, but Iranian Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Akbar Ahmadian refused and praised the militants for their “brave actions” against “Zionist aggression,” The Guardian reported.
Iran instead deployed the warship Alborz to the Red Sea through the Bab al-Mandab Strait sometime before Monday, with Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency providing few details of the vessel’s mission.
Many shipping companies have rerouted their vessels around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope to avoid the violence, even at greater cost and delayed timelines.
The Biden administration delisted the Houthis as terrorists a month after taking office, arguing that it negatively impacted aid supplied to Yemen. The White House has repeatedly dodged questions about the decision. Some Republicans in Congress have pushed for a redesignation.
The U.S. formed Operation Prosperity Guardian, an international initiative to protect commercial ships that continue to follow their routes through the Red Sea. The operation managed to protect around 1,200 ships that traveled through the region before Saturday’s attack.
Five warships from the U.S., France and the United Kingdom patrol the waters of the southern Red Sea and the western Gulf of Aden, according to Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, head of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
The U.S. and U.K., possibly along with another European country, have considered issuing a formal warning to the Houthis that they will strike military installations in Yemen if they do not cease their attacks.
Abdulmalik al-Houthi, leader of the group, warned that he would target American warships in the event any such attack occurred.
Source » foxnews