Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel Wednesday to waters near Yemen as the United States quickened weapons supply to the Saudi-led coalition striking rebels there, underlining how foreign powers are deepening their involvement in the conflict.
The Saudi-led, American supported coalition is attacking the Houthis Shiites, who are backed by Iran, through airstrikes and other operations.
Speaking a day earlier in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken blamed the violence in Yemen on the Houthis, and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, saying that the U.S. is committed to defending Saudi Arabia.
“We have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination and planning cell in the Saudi operations center,” he said in a statement to reporters after meeting with Saudi royals and Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled his country amid rebel advances.
So, to keep score- America and Iran are brokering a resolution to the diplomatic stalemate over Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions while simultaneously working in coordination in Iraq to defeat Islamic State even though they are supporting opposing sides in the Syrian civil war and now opposing sides in Yemen. This reminds me of my favorite dig at the situation yet thus far, made by Financial Times columnist Robert Shrimsley:
We see it as more complex. We knew we were backing the bad guys but until recently we thought they were the right bad guys. Now we can see we might have backed the wrong bad guys and that we need to find better bad guys.
What is certain is that having the US and Iranian Navies in very close proximity in the Strait of Aden could be a very precarious situation, especially if Iran is supporting the Houthis to any degree. President Obama’s attempted detente with Iran may face more hurdles than a Republican Congress and a recalcitrant Israel.
[AP][Financial Times][Photo by Associated Press]