Following its defeat in the Iran-Iraq war, since a quarter of a century ago, by drawing on its experience in shaping the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Iranian regime planned to take advantage of Yemen’s religious fabric to form a mercenary group in that country to be used as a spring board for its aggression against Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.
The clerical regime decided that the al-Houthi Tribe is a suitable candidate to organize such a venture and thus started to employ them since that time:
1. In 1991, the regime took Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the older brother of Abdulmalik al-Houthi the current leader of Ansar Allah group, to its service. With the assistance of the regime, Hussein founded the Al-Haqq (The Truth) in Yemen and took part in the 1993 election where he became a member of the parliament. According to regime’s plan, the group refrained from confronting the governing power in Yemen until it grew stronger later on and portrayed itself as aligned with country’s governing power.
2. Upon orders from the clerical regime, Hussein al-Houthi left the Al-Haqq in 1997 and established a group called the Shabab al-Mu'mineen “The Young Believers” using Lebanese Hezbollah as a model. This group was later called Ansar Allah. Today, this group that functions as the mercenary of regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Qods Force (QF), has occupied capital of Yemen, as well as large swathes of the country, and is suppressing and slaughtering the Yemeni people.
3. After September 11, 2001, the regime guided the Young Believers to turn anti-American while at the same time it opposed the government of Yemen. In 2003, some members of Young Believers were arrested and this group resorted to armed conflict with the government. Hussein al-Houthi was subsequently killed in this war with the central government in 2004.
4. Hussein al-Houthi, his brother Abdulmalik al-Houthi, and his father Badreddin al-Houthi spent over a year in Iran and in Qom in the year 2000 to receive religious, political, security and terrorist trainings. They also regularly visited Iran thereafter. According QF classified reports, Abdulmalik al-Houthi converted to Shiism that adheres to 12 Imams, but he did not announce it as advised by the regime so that he would not alienate Yemen’s Zaidi Shiites.
5. In the previous years, one of the schemes used by the Qods Force make its way into Yemen was to have regime’s Red Crescent become active there so that through the cover of humanitarian assistance, building hospitals, and delivering medicine, the regime would open its way to the country. The regime used this cover to recruit elements for its terrorist networks.
6. Currently, the IRGC’s QF is the Iranian regime’s main apparatus in Yemen and the main headquarters for command and logistical support of the war in Yemen has been established inside the QF.
Additionally, the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly, the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, and the Jamia Al-Mustafa (al-Mustafa Society) in Qom are in close contact with the Houthis and offer assistance to them.
7. Since years ago, a large number of Houthis have received training in al-Mustafa Society in Qom. A Yemeni mullah called Ossam al-Emad is responsible for Houthis in Qom. Ossam al-Emad has been converted from Sunni religion to Shia by the regime. He repeats the dictates of regime’s Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly, as well as other organs dedicated to the export of fundamentalism in his interviews with the Arabic satellite channels affiliated with the regime.
8. The clerical regime has established a close link between the Young Believers and the Lebanese Hezbollah and is trying to get Abdulmalik al-Houthi to assume a role similar to that of Hassan Nassrallah of Lebanon but in Yemen. Some Houthis receive training from the Qods Force in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and in Iraq.
9. As Arab Spring reached Yemen, the clerical regime pushed full force to strengthen, arm, expand and train Houthis in Yemen. The training of these forces was carried out in Yemen itself.
10. When speaking within the close circles of Ansar Allah elements, Abdulmalik al-Houthi refer to Khomeini, the clerical regime’s founder, and Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader, as leader and Imam. They distribute the messages and speeches of Khomeini and Khamenei, as well as that of Hassan Nasrallah, in Yemen.
11. Concurrent with organizing the Houthis, the clerical regime got a cultural agreement signed between Iran and Yemen on July 5, 1995, that paved practical ways for expansion of fundamentalism and terrorism. A classified document of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization dated March 11, 1996 stipulates: “Given the new situation and conditions in Yemen and the inclination of its authorities to expand relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in every aspect and the presence of Zaydiyya Shiites and the signing of cultural agreement between Tehran and Sanaa, it is very important for the Islamic Republic to maintain an active presence in Yemen…”
12. On 22 September 2014, Alireza Zakani, an IRGC element that is a member of the regime’s parliament, a former chief of Student Basij, and a close associate of Ali Khamenei, disclosed the role of the clerical regime in the events in Yemen and regime’s scheme to export fundamentalism and terrorism throughout the region under the title of “System of molding Muslims together by the Islamic Revolution”.
He stated: “Something greater and bigger than Lebanon is unfolding in Yemen; of the 20 provinces in Yemen, 14 have fallen into the hands of Yemeni revolutionaries, as well as 90% of Sanaa… This phenomenon has altered all equations; following the victory in Yemen, then it surely is the turn for Saudi Arabia since the two countries share a 2000 kilometers long border. At the same time, today, there are two million armed people in Yemen that are organized…Today, the Islamic Revolution has three Arab capitals in its hands and later it will also conquer Sanaa and thus carry out the system of molding Muslims together by the Islamic Revolution.”
Security and Anti-terrorism Commission of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 29, 2015