In its February 2, 2015 editorial, the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi stated that the gradual Houthi takeover of Yemen reflects the emergence of a new and unprecedented alliance between the U.S. and Iran, which is expressed in Washington's consent to the Houthis' moves in Yemen and even in intelligence cooperation between them. The daily warned of erosion in the power and status of the Arab states and of their becoming mere pawns in the new American-Iranian world order.
The following are excerpts from the editorial:
Houthi fighters in downtown Sanaa (image: Elaph.com, August 20, 2014)
"The [Houthi] Yemeni organization Ansar Allah, which is supported by Iran, intends to impose [the formation of] a presidential council to rule the country. This is a bold move intended to directly seize control of Yemen... It means that, having seized control of the country's military and security centers, the Houthis now seek to impose a political framework [to legitimize] their violent takeover of the regime. Their call on political forces that are not subordinate to them to join them [in this move] is an attempt to put a pretty face on the reality that they have imposed. The true message [of this call] is: either you take part in this charade, or we appoint whoever we wish from among our supporters.
"It goes without saying that for political forces to take part in sanctioning the Houthi takeover [of Yemen] will be a gross political mistake, for it will legitimize their armed coup against the Yemeni regime and provide constitutional justification for a historic change whose first victim will be the Republic of Yemen. Moreover, it will not be long before these [political] forces are themselves removed, by political or military means, having sanctioned their own elimination.
"It is clear to all that the pact made by the Houthis with supporters of former president 'Ali 'Abdallah Saleh, and their growing control over the army, security and state apparatuses, have transformed them into the major and most influential force in Yemen today. However, what makes this matter even more dangerous is the formation of a new [and] unprecedented regional and global alliance between Iran and the U.S., [an alliance] that is expressed by U.S. consent to the Houthis' movesÔÇª and extends even to intelligence cooperation between [the Houthis] and Washington.
"The cover that Iran and the U.S. are providing to the Houthis and their allies places their local political opponents in a difficult situation, and helps to weaken and divide them. This applies to senior regime officials in Yemen who oppose the Houthi takeover, and also to supporters of the [separatist] Southern Movement, who are definitely unable - politically and militarily - to confront the Yemeni army and the Houthis simultaneously.
"The bizarre Washington-Tehran-Houthi axis that is taking shape reflects the patent distress of the Gulf states and of the Arab [world] in general. This continued erosion in the Arabs' [ability to] play a role in Yemen reveals a comprehensive [Arab] crisis. The continued retreat before the Iranian onslaught - which has already managed to take over four Arab capitalsÔÇª [namely] Sana'a, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut - reveals the Arabs' shame.
"Had the matter been confined to Yemen, it would have been meaningless. But the long shadow of this U.S.-Iran alliance, [formed] under the slogan of war on the Islamic State and on the Al-Qaeda organizations, [including Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen], Ansar Al-Shari'a, along with the unconditional support lent by some Arab countries to this American agenda, creates historic circumstances [that allow] an unprecedented Iranian takeover of the region. As part of this takeover, the crumbling Sykes-Picot agreement will be replaced by protocols that will divide influence between Tehran, Israel and the U.S., while the Arab regimes, which are busy carrying out the plan of their enemies, will become the weak pieces in the chess game of the world's nations, who will use them as pawns that cannot refuse to be moved [from place to place]ÔÇª"