Tensions are escalating higher and higher by the day.
On Friday, the United States publicly accused Iran of extensive involvement in the attacks on commercial ships by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, escalating tensions as Washington considers more robust measures, including the potential use of force. The accusations come amid ongoing ship strikes by the Iranian-linked Yemeni insurgents, who claim to act in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is engaged in conflict with Hamas militants.
According to the White House, U.S. intelligence indicates that Iran’s clerical state has supplied drones, missiles, and tactical intelligence to the Houthis, who control significant parts of Yemen. National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson stated that there is evidence of Iran’s deep involvement in planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
Despite the accusations, Iran denies responsibility, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a November 15 interview with CBS News, emphasized that Yemen acts independently and makes its own decisions. The U.S. has responded by forming a multinational naval task force of over 20 countries to safeguard vessels in the Red Sea, with the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower deployed to the Gulf of Aden.
The Houthi attacks have already had significant consequences, prompting energy giant BP to temporarily suspend all gas and oil shipments in the Red Sea. The disruption in commercial traffic has led to the establishment of the multinational naval task force to protect vessels. The Biden administration, initially adopting a low-key approach to the Houthi attacks, is now confronted with the challenge of balancing its response to the escalating situation while maintaining a fragile peace in Yemen established through a United Nations-brokered truce in April 2022.