By Majid Rafizadeh, Gatestone Institute—
Since the Biden administration assumed office, it has been increasingly appeasing the Iranian regime, which in return, is further emboldening and empowering the mullahs.
The first appeasement came when the administration changed the previous administration’s policy of maximum pressure to a policy of appeasement toward the Iran’s proxy militia group, the Houthis. Even as evidence — including a report by the United Nations — showed that the Iranian regime is delivering sophisticated weapons to the Houthi militia group in Yemen, the Biden administration suspended some of the sanctions against terrorism that the previous administration imposed on the Houthis. The previous US administration had designated Iran’s proxies, the Houthis, a terrorist group.
The Houthis have been committing crimes against humanity, including taking over Yemen’s capital, Sana’a; arbitrarily detaining and forcibly disappearing people; recruiting children, seizing hostages; dispatching “numerous indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes, killing thousands of civilians and hitting civilian structures in violation of the laws of war,” according to Human Rights Watch; as well as using banned antipersonnel landmines, and firing “artillery indiscriminately into cities such as Taizz, killing and wounding civilians,” and “launching indiscriminate ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia.” The Houthis have also been inflicting extreme forms of torture such as beating detainees with metal bars and rifles, and hanging them from walls with their arms tied behind them.
According to Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2020:
“Since September 2014, all parties to the conflict have used child soldiers under 18, including some under the age of 15, according to a 2019 UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen report in 2019. According to the secretary general, out of 3,034 children recruited throughout the war in Yemen, 1,940—64 percent—were recruited by the Houthis.”
The Houthis are also using landmines that kill civilians in Yemen, according to Human Rights Watch. In addition, more than 40 drones and missiles were reportedly launched by the Houthis at Saudi Arabia in the month of February alone.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken nevertheless stated at his inauguration hearing that he had “deep concern about the designation” of the Houthis as a terrorist organization, in that “at least on its surface it seems to achieve nothing particularly practical in advancing the efforts against the Houthis and to bring them back to the negotiating table….” One wonders if the same thinking would apply to Al Qaeda or Islamic State.
On February 12, 2021, in yet a further appeasement of Iran, the Biden administration revoked the designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group altogether. The Biden Administration handed Iran’s regime an undeserved political victory. Continue Reading….