By Faisal Darem
SANAA – Iranian interference in Yemeni affairs through weapons smuggling and other actions harms Yemen's security and undermines its national reconciliation process, analysts said.
In a March interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper, Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi called on the Iranian regime to reconsider its "wrong policies" toward Yemen.
National Centre for Strategic Studies director Fares al-Saqqaf told Al-Shorfa that Iranian interference in Yemen is "unacceptable, because it threatens the security and stability of Yemen."
Arms smuggling is an example of this interference, he said.
The Yemeni Coast Guard arrested the crew of the "Jihane" in January 2013 after intercepting the ship in Yemen's territorial waters. Yemen's official news agency, Saba, said the ship originated in Iran and was laden with explosives and sophisticated weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles.
Yemen is in the midst of a political transformation but is "facing some impediments and obstacles created by some obstructionists [who see the process] as going against their interests," al-Saqqaf said.
Although Iran denies it, its interference in Yemeni affairs continues, al-Saqqaf said.
Yemen's political process must not be impeded
The Iranian regime must turn its words about standing by the unity of Yemen into action and stop its broadcast of inflammatory programmes, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said in a February interview with Yemeni Defence Ministry news portal 26sep.net.
"Iran exploited Yemen's circumstances and wounds to its advantage, interfering in various ways – most dangerous among them the arms shipments – in addition to the financial and media assistance it provides to some parties," said Al-Jamhi Centre for Studies and Research head Saeed al-Jamhi.
"What Iran is doing in Yemen has gone beyond the definition of the term 'interference' to undermining the sovereignty of Yemen, which no country in the world would accept," al-Jamhi said.
Such interference is "very dangerous because it threatens the political settlement and stability," said Nabil al-Bukairi, who heads the Arab Forum for Studies and Political Development in Sanaa.