The civil war in Yemen continues to drag on, as the Houthis maintain their hold on a large portion of the country, despite the efforts of the Saudi-led coalition that supports the internationally recognized Yemen government. A UN report was released on January 18 and presented evidence suggesting that fuel loaded from Iranian ports was used to generate revenue for the Houthi rebels.
The findings in the report raise more questions about the support of the Iranian regime for the Houthi rebels. The regime has continued to deny that they are involved with the Houthi rebels or providing military support, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
“The revenue from the sale of this fuel was used to finance the Houthi war effort,” said the 85-page report that was submitted to the UN Security Council. The panel who wrote the report found that “fuel was loaded from ports in the Islamic Republic of Iran under false documentation.” The report suggested that the fuel was loaded in such a way to avoid UN inspections of the cargo.
The Houthis control the city and key port of Hodeida, a main entry point for imports to Yemen that pro-government forces wanted to recapture in June. A ceasefire was agreed to in UN-brokered talks last month and there are UN monitors on the ground to monitor the pullback of forces.
Experts Point to Past Links Between Rebels and Iran
The experts that served on this panel have used past reports to point out the possibility of a link to Iran, particularly regarding the missiles that the Houthi rebels used to fire into Saudi Arabia.
Iran’s involvement in the Yemen civil war has been identified in the past, but with the increasing economic crises at home, Iran may find it difficult to continue to find its military efforts throughout the Middle East.