When Human Rights Activists Protect the Houthi Militias

We can all unanimously agree that Iran is a rogue state. It consistently violates human rights and international law and pursues notorious practices unmatched by any other state. At a time when more and more countries around the world are confronted with terror attacks, Iran remains completely immune to terrorism — confirming the fact that it is the key force standing behind global terrorism to begin with. Just before leaving office, outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced America’s decision to designate the Yemeni Houthi militias loyal to Iran as a terrorist organization, and put three of its leaders — including Abdul Malik Al-Houthi — on the international terrorist watchlist. According to Pompeo, the designation was meant to hold the Houthi militias accountable for their crimes, including cross-border attacks against civilian populations and commercial shipping lines in Saudi Arabia. Although America was long overdue in making this decision, it is certainly better to do so late than never. This is especially true since Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s incoming national security adviser, has previously claimed that such a designation will “only lead to more suffering for the people of Yemen.” Furthermore, as soon as the designation was announced, leading human rights groups decided to criticize the US and protested that the designation would severely impede humanitarian aid efforts such as those carried out by the United Nations. The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, announced that he is very concerned about the US decision to classify the Houthis as a terrorist group. Sadly, the United Nations has long become a protector of terrorist groups that undermine the very liberal agenda on which the organization rests. Its envoys conveniently call for diplomatic solutions at times when terrorist groups are on the brink of defeat, while ignoring bloodshed when terror groups have the upper hand. The official spokesman for the Arab Coalition Forces to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, has previously confirmed that some UN officials are taking non-neutral positions regarding the conflict in Yemen and revealed that international humanitarian organizations are subject to Houthi pressure. The American decision terrified the European Union and the United Nations, which issued a statement claiming that the designation is a “dangerous and useless policy that would endanger the lives of innocent people.” However, those with deep familiarity of the situation in Yemen agree that the Houthi militias are the primary beneficiaries of humanitarian aid flowing into Yemen through the imposition of exorbitant royalties and fees and the seizure of donated good



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