The British and American strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen are gradually degrading the rebel group’s ability to target shipping in the Red Sea. The latest round of attacks are part of a wider diplomatic push to bring about peace in Yemen, a benighted land whose people have suffered from civil war for years.

The Houthis say that they have fired missiles in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza, but this is a spurious justification for a flagrant breach of international law. Trading routes must be kept open and the only surprise is that more countries, especially France and Germany, let alone major exporters like China and Japan, are not taking a more prominent role in the action.

One reason is that the current upheaval in the Middle East and the Gulf has a common factor: Iran. The ayatollahs sponsor both Hamas and the Houthis and are engaged in a proxy war with their enemies, Israel and the West, through them. They would do the same with Hezbollah in Lebanon had not the militia’s hand been stayed by threats of American intervention.

Iran’s malign influence is being spread by fellow travellers, useful idiots and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Rishi Sunak in the Commons yesterday said the possible proscription of the Iranian group was still under consideration but no ban was announced.

Videos have emerged of anti-Semitic speeches by IRGC generals given to students in London. One speaker has since boasted of his role in training Hamas before the October 7 attacks in Israel. The organisation has been linked to kidnap and assassination plots in Britain. What is the Government waiting for?

Source » telegraph