Friday, June 13, 2008
A member of Yemen's government has declared that Iran has been supporting the Houthi movement since 1982. As I've admitted on here before, I'm not really up on Yemen's politics and recent history, and didn't realize the revolt was that old. In 1982, it would have made a great deal of sense for Iran's revolutionary regime, then at war with a Saddam Hussein backed by Saudi Arabia, to support an Islamist uprising in another Arab nationalist country and encourage it to attack Saudi interests. It's not clear why Iran today would have an interest in this, but some ideologically charged members of the IRGC or people elsewhere in the government might have formed ties in that time that continue. Iran may also be interested in flexing its muscles in the Arabian Peninsula to discourage Saudi Arabia from tacitly supporting American pressure on Iran.