Former Yemeni ambassador to the U.S., Ahmad Awad Bin Mubarak, blasted European Union and U.S. officials for ignoring warnings from Houthis — whose recent strikes have shaken up the region’s security.
Mubarak, Yemen’s minister of foreign affairs, criticized Western leaders for ignoring signs that Houthi rebels, who are at war with the Yemeni government, have the capability — with Iran’s backing — to destabilize an entire region, the diplomat relayed in an interview with Politico Europe published Thursday.
“We have been saying this a long time,” Mubarak said while in Brussels. “I have been here three times before, and always we said if we didn’t do this … the Houthis will never stop.”
“The Houthis have an ideology, have a project. Iran has a project in the region and unfortunately, the others do not respond,” the diplomat added.
He also shared his agitation that Western countries invested a lot of effort into making Iran fall in line with the nuclear deal rather than convincing the country to cut off support for its allies fighting the Yemeni government. Houthis have proven capable of firing missiles toward Israel and in the Red Sea and destabilizing trade routes in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
He also added his disappointment with EU officials’ fixation on reaching a nuclear deal with Tehran and completely overlooking the military capabilities of Iran’s proxies.
“It was all about the nuclear program,” Mubarak claimed.
He mentioned sharing similar frustration with Robert Malley, who formerly served as U.S. special envoy for Iran under President Biden.
“We heard there is no connection between this discussion [on Iranian nuclear ambitions] and what is going on in the region,” Mubarak said.
Despite Western officials’ recent focus on Houthi attacks in the region, Mubarak warned that the Iranian-backed rebels are still targeting Yemen and that his trip to Brussels was, in part, to lobby for more security from the EU.
“We’re asking for direct support for Yemeni forces, especially the coast guard,” he said.