Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced the outgoing US administration’s decision to blacklist Yemen’s Houthi movement just before handing over power, saying such a hostile move shows Washington’s “utter contempt for peace.”
In a tweet posted on Friday, Zarif reacted to Washington’s decision, announced on Sunday, to label the Houthi movement as a foreign “terrorist” organization.
Making the announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said three leaders of what it called the “Iran-backed” Yemeni group would also be branded as “especially designated global terrorists.”
The will go into effect on January 19, just a day before the administration of US President Donald Trump leaves office.
“In its last disgraceful days, designating Houthis to worsen humanitarian nightmare & warmongering lies against Iran by Pompeo show utter contempt for peace,” said Zarif in his tweet.
The damage Trump regime has done to humankind is not enough for its extremists
In its last disgraceful days, designating Houthis to worsen humanitarian nightmare & warmongering lies against Iran by Pompeo show utter contempt for peace
The planet will be better off without them. — Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 15, 2021
The top Iranian diplomat referred the numerous inhumane actions that the Trump administration has taken over the past four years in office and said, “The damage Trump regime has done to humankind is not enough for its extremists.”
“The planet will be better off without them,” Zarif added.
The designation has been met with harsh criticism from senior UN officials, the European Union, and prominent aid groups besides lawmakers and politicians within the US itself.
Humanitarian groups say such a measure could worsen the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, which has already been the scene of the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” according to the world body, due to a devastating Saud-led war and blockade.
On Thursday, Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths, along with other UN officials, delivered a warning to the US during Security Council meeting on Yemen, saying such a move could hinder diplomatic efforts to broker peace and “contribute to the prospect of famine.”
Backing Griffiths’ warning, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Washington to reverse the designation.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry likewise slammed the outgoing US administration’s measure as an obstacle to a political solution to the conflict in Yemen and relief efforts there.
The Houthi movement has been running Yemen’s affairs from Sana’a since late 2014, when former Riyadh-allied president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned and fled to the Saudi capital amid a political standoff with Ansarullah.
A few months later, the Saudi regime, heading a coalition of its vassal states, launched a US-sponsored military campaign against Yemen to reinstall Hadi by force.
However, the Houthi movement, backed by the Yemeni armed forces and allied popular groups, have been successfully defending the country against the aggression, leaving Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the Arabian Peninsula state.
The designation appears to be a desperate attempt by the outgoing US administration to step up pressure on the Houthi movement after the Saudi regime failed to fulfill its objectives in Yemen, despite all the support it received from the US and other Western states.