A US official confirmed that the Iranian role in Yemen is still negative, as Tehran chose to fuel the conflict that has been going on for nearly seven years, which makes a quick and final solution to the crisis a priority, as he put it.
The US official, who declined to be identified, stressed, during his conversation with a group of journalists in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, yesterday evening, that Security Council Resolution 2216 is the basic framework for dealing with the Yemeni crisis, despite the difficulty of implementing it on the ground, as he described it.
He considered, according to his speech, that the visit of US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to Saudi Arabia, about two weeks ago, and his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was very constructive, and added: “I see a strong convergence in the Saudi-American vision on Yemen.”
He stressed that the US administration places a priority on resolving the Yemeni crisis, in cooperation with the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia and partners in the region, and said: “We know that this cannot be done on our own.”
He explained that the United States is sure that there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen, and continued: “This means creating conditions for the Yemeni parties to discuss their future (…). The goal is not only a cease-fire; It is just a step. We want to see Yemen turn from conflict to peace.”
In response to a question about the Iranian role, he said: “We did not see any positive role in the conflict for Iran. On the other hand, it chose to fuel the conflict. Therefore, the United States feels the importance of quickly resolving the crisis, as a result of the pressure imposed on the Yemenis.”
While he considered Security Council Resolution “2216” a basic work structure for dealing with the Houthis, he added: “This is still the general framework of the stage. I know that it is difficult to implement in relation to reality, but we have to ask: How can an armed militia, as the Houthis operate in Yemen, participate in the peaceful phase… This issue can be dealt with when we reach the negotiation, and our efforts are focused on gathering the parties to negotiate.”
He stated that the continuation of the Houthi attack on Marib, and the attacks that took place in the south recently, contradict the principle that there is no military solution to the crisis, pointing out that “the outside cannot impose any solution on the Yemenis,” noting that “the Yemenis have shown their ability to conduct dialogue, and therefore We want to build on the efforts of the United Nations and neighboring countries to arrange the best atmosphere for negotiations between them.”
The official criticized the obstruction of humanitarian aid access to those in need on all sides, and said: “When we see reports that the Houthis are obstructing the delivery of aid, we expose them publicly.”
He also accused the Houthis of obstructing the United Nations experts’ access to assess the tanker “Safer”, warning of the possibility of a major environmental disaster. He added: “We see the international community that the Houthis have obstructed access to this tank, and this makes it impossible to deal with this urgent situation.” We call on the Houthis to immediately allow UN experts to assess the status of the tank.”
With regard to the suffocating siege imposed by the Houthis on the Abdiya district in Marib for more than 23 days, the American official explained that his country is concerned about this siege, and continued: “We see pressure on the civilian population, which appears to be a complete siege, which is another example that one of the parties is pushing Towards a military solution (…), we call for calming this situation and allowing humanitarian aid to reach Abdia.”