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'Yemen crisis sparked by ex-president's thirst for revenge, Iran'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, May 21: The crisis in Yemen was sparked by the thirst for revenge of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the support provided by Iran, the leader of a well known social organisation in the conflict-torn Arab tion has claimed. Shadi Mosin Khasroof, assistant professor in the political department of Saa university and the president of Haraka Rafdh, said in an interview with Urdu daily Rozma Rashtriya Sahara during a visit here that though the Shia Houthi rebels had agreed to hand over their weapons after an agreement at a tiol conference on the future of the country, they went back on their word after a secret meeting with Saleh.

“A tiol conference of the Yemeni people and all political parties was held to discuss the issues of republican regime, local issues and other changes, and the Houthis also participated in that conference,” Khasroof said. “They (the Houthis) agreed on the changes related to the country but later they refused and began trying to apply their own thoughts. An agreement was prepared in the conference that the rebel groups would hand over their weapons to the government. But the Houthi rebels met secretly with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who already wanted to take revenge. Thus armed Houthis started operations in Saa to take revenge in the me of corruption.”

Haraka Rafdh is an organisation of Yemeni youth established to protect the people of the southwest Asian tion and restore stability and peace in the country and opposed to any kind of extremism, according to Khasroof. He said Haraka Rafdh “stood against the authoritarian thoughts of the Houthis and for restoring democracy, stability, security and peace of Yemen”. “The organisation of Houthi rebels is extremist with negative thoughts, and its goal is to get the government through extremism, and this organisation believes in discrimition and prejudice,” he said.

“The leader of this organisation, Abdul Malik Houthi, wants to govern on the method of Iranian leader (President Hassan) Rouhani. He wants that all the authorities should be retained by clerics. Thus the Yemeni people are in confusion because of this thought and they are against him.” Following the Houthi rebellion that forced President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of eight Arab tions commenced airstrikes on Yemen from March 26 this year. Over 1,300 people have died in the airstrikes and in clashes between the Houthis and those opposed to them while thousands of people have been displaced. The capital Saa remains under Houthi control.

“The Yemeni people are worried about extremism, kidpping and bombing and they have turned against the Houthis. The protests by Yemeni people kept increasing. The Houthis, afraid of the people’s protests, started to use their powers by attacking cities and they put the Yemeni president under house arrest. When he fled to (the southern port city of) Aden, they occupied it,” Khasroof said. He said Saudi Arabia’s action in Yemen was for the benefit of the Yemeni people. “The president and exterl affairs minister took shelter in Saudi Arabia and they requested the kingdom to intervene in Yemen for the protection of the Yemeni people and restoring stability and peace. Thus, the Saudi government had to intervene for the welfare of the Yemeni people.” Khasroof claimed that Iran has also played a major role behind the troubles in Yemen and has armed the Houthis.

“Iran played a major role in creating the crisis in Yemen, and the Houthi organisation stood with the support of Iran. Iran also provided weapons to them. The Houthis have been given military training in Ethiopia and south Lebanon,” he said. Former president Saleh played a major role in worsening the situation in the country, according to Khasroof. “He (Saleh) has only one goal and that is to rule the country like an autocratic leader. But the Yemeni people are democratic... We believe that no autocrat can rule Yemen however powerful or extremist he is.” Asked what was the way out for Yemen, Khasroff said: “The solution to everything is available but intention should be true.” “The solution can come out when Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis admit their sins with true heart and apologise to the Yemeni people. The rebels should hand over their weapons to the government and all kidpped people should be released,” he said. “The crisis can be resolved by dialogue for the stability and development of Yemen. Opportunity should be given to the Yemeni people to participate in the dialogue.” (IANS)

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