The Facts

  • As part of a China-brokered deal to re-establish diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran has agreed to halt covert weapons shipments to its Houthi allies in Yemen, according to US and Saudi officials. The development is being hailed as a positive step towards ending one of the region's longest-running civil wars.

  • In 2014, Iranian-linked Houthi rebels seized the capital of Yemen, Sanaa. Then, in 2015, neighboring Saudi Arabia led a military intervention to support Yemeni government forces. The war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions. A truce introduced in April 2022 expired in October without the Yemeni government and Houthis coming to an agreement.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The Houthis have continued to threaten peace and security in Yemen since they launched their coup in 2014. However, through mediation, an agreement can be made if the Houthis and their Iranian backers are willing to compromise. Saudi Arabia has always been willing to help bring peace to the impoverished Arab nation, but Iranian meddling has not helped the situation. Ultimately, the conflict can only be resolved through a political settlement, but it remains to be seen what role the Yemeni government will play in peace talks.

Establishment-critical narrative

It's the Yemeni government and its powerful Gulf allies who have obstructed peace in Yemen and who continue to punish its citizens for standing up for themselves. A political process like this between Saudi Arabia and Iran is likely the best way to end the war at this stage in the conflict. This is a window of opportunity for Washington to end support for the brutal Saudi war of aggression on Yemen and instead offer more robust humanitarian aid.

Go Deeper

Establishment split



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