ABU DHABI, Dr. Al Hassan Al Taher, Governor of Hodeidah, has warned of an Iranian plan to create a maritime crisis in the Strait of Hormuz and Bab Al Mandeb, in order to avoid an internal crisis and halt the re-imposition of sanctions.

In his statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Al Taher stressed that the end of Houthi control of the Port of Hodeidah and other parts of the Red Sea Coast is the beginning of the end of Iran's plan, and will ensure the safe passage of international maritime navigation through Bab Al Mandeb and the Arabian Sea.

He added that Iran aims, through the militias in Yemen, to exert pressure on the international community, by targeting oil tankers and trade ships in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, especially in light of the latest developments in its nuclear programme and the start of international sanctions.

Iranian officials made statements that directly threatened the security of the strait and other maritime corridors after growing international pressure was placed on the country due to its expansionary policies and its threats to world security and stability, as well as its support for terrorism.

The Arab Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, has warned about the dangers posed by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Hodeidah Port, which they transformed into a maritime minefield and a base to target oil tankers and trade ships travelling through Bab Al Mandeb and the Arabian Sea.

The attack on a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea last month confirmed these warnings and brought back the memory of terrorist attacks carried out by Houthi militias in the Red Sea, upon the directives of Iran.

While controlling Hodeidah over many years, the militias made several attempts to attack ships crossing the Red Sea. On 10th October, 2016, the barge, the "US Mason," was attacked by a Houthi missile near Mocha port, and after only two days, the same barge was attacked again. On 30th January, 2017, three Houthi ships targeted a Saudi frigate in Western Hodeidah, and on 30th July of the same year, a boat was attacked by explosives in Mocha Port.

The international community is concerned that the increasing Houthi attacks in Bab Al Mandeb will have a catastrophic effect on the international economy, especially as 10 percent of global oil production passes through the strait while 20 percent of the global oil production passes through the Hormuz Strait, which Iran has threatened to close.

Source: Emirates News Agency