On Tuesday, the US President Joe Biden's administration’s decision to remove the Houthi group from the list of terrorist groups came into effect, but opinions on this decision are divided between support and opposition.
The decision came as a second step after Washington stopped providing military support to the Arab coalition after more than 5 years of war that caused a terrible human tragedy.
The leader of the group, Muhammad Ali al-Houthi, described the US decision as positive, while the opinions of American commentators on the decision were divided between supporters and opponents.
Some commentators refused to link the Biden administration's decision toward the Houthis with Iran, while others considered it an olive branch that Biden would present to Tehran as a sign of his desire to calm regional issues in preparation for a new grand deal with Iran related to its nuclear file and other regional files.
The Houthis currently control Yemeni territory in which 70-80 percent of the country's population lives, and the Houthi gains in the Marib region highlight the relative weakness of the UN-recognized government backed by Riyadh.
This comes against the background of shifts in US foreign policy that limit Washington's support for the Arab coalition fighting to enable Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to control Yemen.
Importance and endeavors
In turn, the Executive Director of the Gulf States Analytics Center in Washington, Giorgio Caviaro, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net that "raising the Houthi classification from the list of terrorism comes within the Biden administration's efforts to return Washington to the nuclear agreement, with its desire to solve the Yemen war diplomatically."
Caviaro indicated that there is reason for hope, as it is relatively easy for Tehran to consider calming down its interference in Yemen in exchange for some concessions from Washington, and compared to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the conflict in Yemen is much less strategically important for Iran's geopolitical and security interests.
And he considered that Washington's move represents "more pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of President Hadi to make concessions to the Houthis, but it will not change their public stance towards the Iranian-backed rebels."
The Biden administration's move represents more pressure on Riyadh (European)
Anarchy and empowerment
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Matthew Contenity, an expert on US policy toward Yemen at the American Enterprise Institute, criticized Biden’s policy, saying it leads to more chaos.
Continetti said, "Biden's policy toward the Houthis is chaos, and when Biden canceled the designation of the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization, they did not reciprocate. Instead, they escalated the attacks on civilians, on Marib and on targets in Saudi Arabia. They acted as terrorists. With the increase in violence, the Biden administration continues to say that he" There is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen, and the Houthis do not see that. "
"The Houthis are pressing and taking advantage of Biden's move, and the result is more death, more destruction, and more empowerment for Iran," Continetti stressed.
Forces of the Yemeni army supported by the Arab coalition (Reuters)
For his part, Michael Rubin, a former official at the Ministry of Defense and an expert at the American Enterprise Institute, considered that removing the Houthi group from the terrorism list would facilitate talking with the Houthis, but their inclusion would not prevent that.
He indicated that Washington is talking to Iran despite its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and simply removing the delisting from the list allows Washington and NGOs to provide humanitarian aid.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Rubin indicated that "Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken might make a mistake if he assumes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will stop its battle because of Washington's move. Riyadh - rightly or wrongly - sees Yemen as a priority for its own national security."
He stressed that "this is a proxy conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Washington naively thinks that we matter to either side, neither of them bother us."
Rubin linked the removal of the Houthis from the terrorism list to the Biden administration's desire to return to the nuclear deal.
He assured Al-Jazeera Net that "the Biden administration sees the removal of the Houthis from the list of terrorism as an olive branch that it offers to Iran in the broader context of the desire to return to the negotiating table, but at the same time there is a risk if the fighting in Yemen continues or even worsens, because that will make the chances difficult." Diplomacy with Iran, and it would also reduce any chances of Congress approving any other concessions. "
The Yemen war has left the worst humanitarian crisis in the world (Anatolia)
An important step
For her part, Anil Schnell, an expert on Gulf affairs at the Quincy Institute in Washington, thinks that the official lifting of the designation of the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization is commendable, because it reflects the desire of humanitarian organizations and the United Nations, which have uniformly expressed their annoyance that the classification of the Houthi group as terrorism will push Yemen into the worst famine it has witnessed. The world 40 years ago.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Chanel pointed out that "it is important to bear in mind that although foreign intervention has greatly complicated and entrenched the conflict in Yemen, this is not a proxy war, and while it is necessary for foreign interference to stop - And specifically by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran - this is only a first step towards shifting the incentives of local actors in Yemen, away from the permanent violence financed by outsiders and towards a political solution.
She pointed out that at the present time, "the United States does not have any functional relations with Iran, and Washington has no way to pressure or persuade Tehran to stop supporting the Houthis, and for this reason Biden should rejoin the nuclear agreement without preconditions, because the United States has no means." She withdrew from it. "
And once Washington and Tehran become parties to the agreement again, Biden's team will be in a position to advance other items of the agenda with Tehran, specifically the actions they are taking in Yemen and elsewhere in the region that cause concern in countries such as Saudi Arabia.