Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif today urged the formation of a new Yemeni government, and offered his nation’s help in the negotiations, citing his own involvement in the 2001 Bonn Conference, which established the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Yemen’s post-Saleh transition has been a rocky one, with the installation of President Hadi in a very dubious one-candidate election leading to a new round of sectarian blood-letting. Hadi resigned in January, after losing the capital to the Shi’ite Houthi movement.
Saudi Arabia has since launched a war against Yemen, aimed at reinstalling Hadi, who now lives in exile in Riyadh. Before the war, the Houthis had made some limited progress in talks with other political factions on a new constitution, which would lead to new, democratic elections.
The Saudis aren’t keen on elections, however, and want Hadi, a former general installed at the behest of the US, back in power at all cost. Iran’s call for a new government will likely fuel more angry condemnation from the Saudis, who insist the only legitimate Yemeni government is the one they intend to install, and that this can only happen through an open-ended war.