Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif issued a statement lashing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his recent comments on the Yemen War. Discussing the US-backed Saudi invasion of Yemen, Pompeo declared Iran to be to blame for the death and destruction in the country.
Asking of Pompeo “have you no shame?”, Zarif mocked Pompeo’s praise for the Saudis for “providing millions and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief” to Yemen, saying America’s “butcher clients” were spending billions of dollars bombing school buses.
Pompeo had been heavily critical of the Iranians for doing nothing to “prevent the starvation” in Yemen. The reality, of course, is that the Saudis are blocking Yemen in a US-backed naval operation, and have seized any Iranian ships that get anywhere near the Yemeni coast.
Zarif’s comments aside, Pompeo’s whole narrative blaming Iran is just puzzling, and seem built wholly around Saudi allegations that Iran is secretly in league with the Shi’ite Houthis who are resisting their invasion. In practice, the Houthis have never had more than nominal ties with Iran, and Iranians statements of public support seem mostly built on criticizing the Saudis, whose protracted invasion of Yemen has gotten well out of hand.