The Shahed, on its way to the port of Hodeidah, western Yemen, left Iran Monday with a load of over 2,500 tons of medical aid, flour, water and other supplies in a mission sponsored by the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
In the course of his interview with CPR News, Maupin emphasized several times that his main aim has been to spread the message that the Shahed mission a peaceful, "international effort to bring aid to the people of Yemen," who are "desperately in need because they're being bombed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." He noted that in addition to 50 Iranian doctors and medical technicians, the ship's crew includes "a delegation of peace activists from the United States, Germany and France."
Commenting on the renewal of Saudi Arabia's military campaign, which is estimated to have left over 4,000 people dead, Maupin noted that Riyadh is "not only bombing civilian targets like hospitals and schools, [but] also using white phosphorous, a chemical weapon in the form of a white powder which burns the skin."
The journalist also noted that Washington shares some of the blame for Saudi aggression, noting that the US is refueling Saudi warplanes, and providing Riyadh with satellite data and command and control assistance. "What the Saudis are doing in Yemen is absolutely sponsored, supported and backed by the US government, which is involved in this ruthless, criminal attack on the people of Yemen," Maupin stressed.
Not a Sunni-Shia Conflict, But a Struggle Against Domination by Saudi Arabia and the United States
Ultimately, Maupin believes that "this is not a religious war but a war for independence, a battle for democracy by the Yemeni people who are trying to break free from the dominion of Wall Street and the Saudi regime."
As far as the US is concerned, Maupin marked their assistance in the Saudi military campaign down to the fact that Yemen has huge untapped oil reserves, which he noted was cause for the US to fear a Venezuela scenario, where an independent government attempts to use its oil resources to develop its economy independently from Washington. "That's what the US is trying to suppress, [aligning] with the Saudi regime, which is bombing and destroying the country because they don't want it to break free and start developing itself, wanting it to remain the poorest country in the Middle East," Maupin noted.
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched its bombing campaign against Yemen on March 26 in an attempt to drive out the Houthi fighters, who had earlier seized power in Yemen, and to reinstate fugitive President Mansour Hadi.