The news comes as Russia vetoed a UK-drafted resolution on Yemen during a UN Security Council vote. After the Council failed to pass the resolution, Russia proposed its own draft which was subsequently and unequivocally adopted by the UNSC.
Sputnik discussed this with Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, founder and president of the American-Iranian Council and a professor of public policy at Rutgers University.
Sputnik: Despite there being no hard evidence of Iran's sponsorship of the Houthi rebels, US allegations against Tehran have intensified, why is that?
Hooshang Amirahmadi: The Trump administration is not happy with the JCPOA, it's also, obviously, unhappy with the fact that some of the public has not been forthcoming on the demand by America on renegotiating the nuclear deal. I think they are trying to find every possible pretext to hold Iran responsible for the kind of things that are first of all, not, part of the JCPOA, also they really remotely related to Iran. I think Russia did a good job by proposing an alternative to the UK proposal, and, obviously, the international community accepted the resolution proposed by Russia, and I think it's the right direction. So, I think, all of this shows that the Trump administration has decided to give Iran a hard time. The Trump administration's policy is regime change, and all of these other issues in Yemen, Syria, the nuclear issue, all of them are really part of a broader strategy to isolate and, from their perspective, to hopefully, push Iran into a position where it could not survive.
Sputnik: The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs, has dubbed the US claims of Iran's alleged supply of missiles to Yemen to be biased, do you agree with that statement?
Hooshang Amirahmadi: The fact that the Houthis in Yemen have some affinity with Iran and that Iran likes that group is a fact. I don't believe what the US is saying in terms of hard evidence of Iran's supplying missiles to Houthis and, particularly, ballistic missiles. I can expect Iran or believe Iran giving some help to the Houthis, but giving them ballistic missiles, that they can use to hit Saudi Arabia is beyond my belief and my imagination, I don't think Iran is so stupid not to realize that a missile that they give to Houthis, and if they were to be launched at a Saudi target, they could find the origin of this particular missile. So I don't believe they've done it, but again there are other problems in the region, it is possible that the Houthis may have access to some Iranian missiles that are in the region in the hands of other forces, that Iran most likely has no control over.
Sputnik: Is it likely this development will have an impact on the Iranian nuclear deal? It looks on the face of it that it is going to have, isn't it?
Hooshang Amirahmadi: The Trump administration is trying to force Iran into renegotiating the nuclear deal, the Europeans have come up with a so-called supplement for that, that will not touch the original JCPOA but it will add to it an amendment, a supplement that would supposedly extend the concept clause of the agreement to infinity, that would impose on Iran new restrictions to Iran's military, that would bring Iran's missiles under the so-called international control and observation, this is all bad news for Iran, bad news for the JCPOA, and after all Iran does not have any benefits from the JCPOA at all, and adding more to Iran's obligations is just meaningless, Iran has no benefits from obligations, and I'm surprised Iran has not left the JCPOA, Iran should have already left the JCPOA given what the US is doing.
Hooshang Amirahmadi: I believe that Iran is in the region in a defensive position, Iran is not in an offensive position, from day one when the Iranian Revolution happened back in 1979, Iran has been under constant threat. War with Iraq, then sanctions from the US, the threat from the Israeli's and now the Saudis, and now all the stuff that is going on in the region. Iran has tried to create what they call a regional wall around itself, beyond its region, in Syria, in Iraq and elsewhere, because they have been under threat of all kinds of problems, invasion, sanctions and so on, so I think Iran has taken a defensive position in the region.
The views and opinions expressed by Hooshang Amirahmadi do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.