Houthi rebels in Yemen announce the appointment of “ambassador” in Tehran

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Houthi rebels in Yemen have announced the appointment of an “ambassador of the Republic of Yemen” to Tehran, a move the internationally recognized Yemeni government said constituted a “flagrant violation” of international laws.

Tehran has not made any official announcement on the issue of acceptance of an “ambassador” on its territory representing the unrecognized Houthi authority.

“A presidential decree was issued appointing Ibrahim Mohammad Mohammad al-Dailami as extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” rebel spokeswoman al-Massira quoted a statement late Saturday.

Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi severed ties with Iran in October 2015 and ordered the embassy closed in the Islamic Republic’s capital after he accused Tehran of backing the rebels militarily.

Iran denies the charge, but insists it supports the Houthis politically.

The Yemeni government denounced the Houthi rebel declaration.

“The announcement of a diplomatic exchange between the Tehran regime and the Houthi militias is a blatant violation of international laws and norms and Security Council resolutions related to the Yemeni crisis,” she wrote in a tweet.

“This is not surprising. It transfers the relationship between the two sides from coordination and receives support from under the table to the public.”

The announcement of the appointment of an “ambassador” in Tehran came after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held talks with Houthi spokesman Mohammad Abdul Salam last Tuesday in Tehran.

Khamenei reiterated his support for the Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa and large swathes of the north of the country, and accused Tehran’s opponents of “plotting” to divide Yemen, the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula.

“I declare my support for the Mujahideen in Yemen,” he said in a statement issued after the talks, accusing “Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their supporters of committing major crimes in Yemen.”

Since 2014, Yemen has been locked in a conflict between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of Yemen. This conflict escalated with the intervention of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch-foe, in March 2015 in support of the government.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, including many civilians, according to various humanitarian organizations.

There are still 3.3 million displaced people and 24.1 million people, more than two-thirds of the population, need help, according to the United Nations, which describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst in the world today.

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