US Blames Iran for South Yemen Secessionist Protests

Insists Iran Plots to Destabilize Straits of Hormuz

Massive protests calling for self-rule in the city of Aden and a litany of grievances against the Sanaa-based government have much of South Yemen talking about reestablishment, over 22 years after being absorbed by the Saleh regime.

None of this sounds very good to the Obama Administration, of course, which loudly endorses the new Yemeni ruler, and the single-candidate “election” that installed him. So naturally, they’re blaming Iran.

US Ambassador Gerald Feierstein was interviewed by the Yemeni state media today, insisting that the entire South Yemen secessionist movement was an Iranian plot orchestrated by “extremists” opposed to Yemeni “democracy” as part of a goal of destabilizing the Straits of Hormuz.

The bizarre claim would make little sense from the Iranian perspective, as they seem to have little to no interest in southern Yemen, and their only natural allies in the region would be in the far northern portion of Yemen, where the Shi’ite Houthis have their own secessionist ambitions, and have a long-standing feud with Saudi Arabia across the nebulous border. South Yemen, for its part, appears to be of little strategic value even if it was an Iranian ally, a huge supposition, and isn’t on the Straits of Hormuz at any rate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.