US Envoy: Iran Must Be ‘Countered’ in Yemen

Saudi Deputy DM endorses US operations against Iran

Many Trump Administration officials have been, by way of reconciling President Trump’s insistence that he doesn’t want war with Iran and their desire for something very much resembling a war, been presenting US military action, and the US backing of such action, as necessarily stabilizing to the region.

So with Special Envoy Brian Hook on Friday. Hook, who made headlines Wednesday by claiming not to be a “scholar” when asked if Iran was behind 9/11, is now pushing for Iran to be “countered” in Yemen. He says the alternative risks regional conflict and destabilizing the area.

To be clear, Iran isn’t actually in Yemen in the first place. Rather, there is the Shi’ite Houthi movement, whom the Saudis have attempted to brand as Iranian proxies, as it facilitates an ongoing Saudi war in Yemen, which the US is supporting.

“Countering Iran” in this case has nothing to do with Iran itself, so much as continued US support for the Saudi War, in the name of regional stability. Hook presented Iran as meeting US offers of diplomacy “with military force.”

The timing of this allegation is odd, as presenting the US as taking the approach of diplomacy rings hollow both because of its involvement in years of Saudi war in Yemen,
and because just the night before, President Trump signed off on an attack against Iran, and informed Iran of his intention to attack them.

That the US didn’t ultimately attack is a minor point, since the attack was formally announced to Iran. The administration is still viewing its policy toward Iran, and toward Shi’ites in general, in military terms, and trying to brand itself as both offering diplomacy, and defending ongoing military operations against Houthi Yemen as action against Iran itself.

The Saudi Deputy Defense Minister, with whom Hook was meeting, was unsurprisingly on board for the envoy’s defense of the status quo in which the Saudis carry out an unchecked war of aggression in Yemen, and endorsed the idea of the US doing more in general against Iran.

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.