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Washington Times: Biden ignored alarms about Houthis in order to pursue nuclear talks with Iran, Yemeni official says

  |   By Polling+ Staff

(Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden ignored alarms about Houthis in order to pursue nuclear talks with Iran, Yemeni official says

Not Good.  The Washington Times reports:

“The Biden administration and its partners in Europe ignored warnings about the growing danger posed by Houthi rebels because they were fixated on pursuing a new nuclear deal with Iran, according to a top Yemeni official.

Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak, who represents the U.N.-recognized Yemeni government, said the U.S. and Europe prioritized nuclear negotiations with Tehran over the worsening security situation in Yemen and the expanding military capabilities of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The decision to prioritize nuclear talks with Iran over all else, he suggested, paved the way for the rise of the Houthis into a militant outfit that has disrupted commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and other vital waterways in the region.

Mr. Mubarak, a former Yemeni ambassador to the U.S., said he and other officials in his country urged the U.S. and Europe to take a tougher stance against the Houthis, but it became clear nuclear negotiations were more important. 

‘It was all about the nuclear program,’ he told Politico in an interview published Thursday, adding that warnings aboutIran‘s backing of dangerous regional militias and its weapons exports to groups such as the Houthis were ‘totally ignored.’

The Houthis are logistically and financially supported by Iran. The terrorists, who control most of Yemen, including the capital of Sanaa, have launched about 40 attacks on international shipping lanes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden over the past several months. Houthi leaders have said their campaign is retaliation toward Israel for its war in the Gaza Strip, though many of the ships targeted seemingly have no connection to Jerusalem.

The U.S. and Britain have regularly pounded Houthi positions with airstrikes the past several weeks, but the rebel attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes have continued.

On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said the Houthis launched a drone and two anti-ship missile attacks from their positions in Yemen. None hit their target. 

Mr. Mubarak said he’s not surprised by how dangerous the Houthis have become.

‘We have been saying this a long time,’ he told Politico. ‘The Houthis will never stop. The Houthis have an ideology, have a project. Iran has a project in the region and, unfortunately, the others do not respond.’

Iran also supports Hamas, the Palestinian group that raided Israel on Oct. 7; Lebanon-based Hezbollah; and the Shiite militias believed to be behind 100 attacks on U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq, plus this week’s assault on an American outpost in Jordan that killed three American soldiers.

The Biden administration tried to separate all of those issues from nuclear negotiations. Indeed, Mr. Mubarak said he was told there was ‘no connection’ between the nuclear talks and ‘what is going on in the region.’

From President Biden’s first days in office, nuclear diplomacy with Iran was a top foreign policy priority. Theadministration wanted to resurrect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 accord that limited Iran‘s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

In 2019, then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of that agreement.

After years of trying, the Biden administration ultimately abandoned its nuclear diplomacy with Iran.” 

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A headline like this recalls the words of former Defense Secretary and CIA chief Robert Gates that Joe Biden had “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”