Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Iran attempts to involve the US in yet another local conflict

Iran’s leadership, in partnership with Russia, seems keen on creating more hotspots on the map that could involve Washington.

Triggering conflicts, like the one provoked by Tehran in Israel using its proxies for a bloodshed terrorist attack on October 7, Iran leverages its allies in Yemen to target civilian vessels in the Red Sea. This move aims to block crucial transnational logistic corridors, potentially provoking a military response from the US.

Iran-affiliated insurgents have announced intentions to block the passage of ships, regardless of nationality, heading to Israel unless Gaza receives necessary supplies like food and medicine. They’ve also targeted commercial and US fleet ships using ballistic missiles and kamikaze drones.

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Recent actions by the Houthis, attacking and seizing Israeli-affiliated ships in the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb strait, a vital route for global oil transportation, along with strikes on Israel using ballistic missiles and armed drones, suggest an escalated agenda.

Analysts speculate that the Houthis aim to bolster local support, weakened after years of civil war in Yemen. However, the prevalent belief is that Iran strategically manipulates the Houthis by supplying weaponry and engaging military experts to drag the US into a conflict, weakening the country through multiple simultaneous localized disputes.

Tehran denies aiding the insurgents, but evidence strongly indicates Iran’s direct influence on their actions. Ballistic missiles and kamikaze drones intercepted on ships with illegal arms shipments to the Houthis have Iranian origins, intensifying suspicions of Iran’s involvement.

The US government imposed sanctions on 13 entities aiding Iranian funding of Houthi rebels, aiming to prolong destabilization in the Middle East, according to the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

OFAC sanctioned “13 individuals and entities responsible for transferring foreign currency totaling tens of millions of dollars to Houthi forces in Yemen from sales and shipments of Iranian goods by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.”

They highlighted the funding occurring through networks of exchange points and companies, leading to unprovoked attacks on civilian infrastructure and commercial shipping.

Earlier reports indicated Saudi Arabia’s plea to the US for restraint following Houthi attacks on American ships in the Red Sea. Riyadh seeks to avoid further escalation and seems content with how the US is handling the situation.

These actions align with the Kremlin’s interests, also invested in diverting attention from its bloody war in Ukraine. Moscow continues its invasion in Ukraine and attempts to limit arms supplies to Kyiv. Moreover, there’s a high likelihood of increased activity in Russia-backed Venezuela, known for its territorial claims against Guyana, primarily populated by American business interests.

Iran and its alliances’ actions not only aim to disrupt regional stability but also strategically involve the US in multiple conflicts, potentially weakening its global stance.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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