Iran Builds Ties With New Yemen Regime

Iran officials: We now occupy 4 Arab capitals: Sana'a (Yemen), Beirut, Damascus and Baghdad

A delegation of ministers from the new revolutionary regime in Yemen has arrived in Tehran for talks as Iran strengthens its diplomatic grip on another troubled Arab country.

The delegation was sent by the new administration in the northern half of Yemen, led by the former “Houthi” rebels, a Shia militia close to Iran’s Lebanese proxy group Hizbollah.

The Houthis drove the western- and Saudi-backed government out of the capital Sana’a in January and formally seized power earlier this month, prompting Iranian officials to boast that they now occupied “four Arab capitals” - the others being Beirut, Damascus and Baghdad.

Among the first signs of Iran’s new dominance in the country was the announcement on Sunday of 14 new direct flights a week between Sana’a and Tehran, to be run by Yemenia Airways and Iran's Mahan Air.

The triumphal Iranian move into northern Yemen, with the elected and Sunni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi forced to flee to Aden in the south, has opened the way to a new proxy war in the Middle East.