By Tim Nanns
The Shi’a Houthi-dominated Supreme Revolutionary Council of Yemen has on Tuesday condemned the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) resolution imposing an arms embargo and call on the Houthis to surrender. The Houthi official television channel called for the Yemeni people to “rally and protest on Thursday to condemn the Security Council resolution in support of the aggression”.
The UNSCR on Tuesday accepted a resolution drafted by Jordan and GCC countries to impose an arms embargo on the Houthis. It also called upon them to return all seized territory and arms to the Yemeni government, to allow the reinstitution of the legitimate government and to “end the use of violence”.
The vote turned out with 14 in favour and Russia abstaining. The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, explained the move was due to the failure of the resolution to fully address what is really needed in the Yemen crisis. He added that the resolution must not end in an escalation of the crisis, and that it did not call upon all sides to partake in a ceasefire.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday called for the formation of a new government in Yemen according to Reuters news agency, offering Iran’s assistance in the process. Zarif mentioned the Bonn Conference in 2001, where the Afghan government was formed after the US-led intervention, as an example on how to organise such a process. He also called for the stop of the air strikes as they were “simply not the answer”.
In an opinion piece for the New York Times on Sunday, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi wrote that he holds Iran responsible for the chaos in Yemen, and accused the Houthis of being their “puppets”. He warned of the Houthis becoming “the next Hezbollah” if they were not stopped, and that Iran was “obsessed with regional domination”. He praised the Saudi-led intervention as “coming to the aid of Yemen”.
The situation on the ground in Yemen, meanwhile, seems to be at a deadlock, with the Houthis still holding positions in Hadi’s last stronghold, Aden, but not being able to gain further ground. The southern militia, though, claims to have gained ground on the Houthis and their allies in some parts of the south.