Iran has long denied providing any military support for the Houthis in Yemen. However, it has acknowledged for the first time since the outbreak of the war in Yemen in 2015, that the Revolutionary Guards offered "advisory and intellectual support" to its ally, the Houthi group.
Iranian Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammed Bagheri, admitted providing this kind of support to Houthis, in an interview with Phoenix Chinese TV Channel.
According to Bagheri, Iran provided advisory support, weapons and equipment to Iraq and Syria at the request of their governments, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was, of course, responsible for that mission. The Maj. Gen. did not deny the Iranian army's assistance to the IRGC forces there.
"Yemen is currently under siege, and all entries are closed. Even medicine could not be delivered there for a long time," said Bagheri, who denied sending any missiles to Yemen.
"How can we send meters long missiles to Yemen while we cannot even deliver medicine there?" said Bagheri. He stressed that Iranian assistance to the Houthis was limited to the consultative and ideological aspects, and revealed for the first time that it was the Revolutionary Guards that was in charge of this task.
He also pointed out that the Islamic Republic will stand by the Yemeni people so that they can keep this aggression away from their country.
Tehran has long denied arming the Houthi group in Yemen, but the UN and Saudi Arabia accused them of providing military support to the group.
Gulf Water Developments
Addressing the recent developments in the Gulf waters and the possibility of war in the region, the Iranian Maj. Gen. said that Tehran would never provoke wars in the area, for it is seeking peace and stability more than anyone else. He added that the Islamic Republic had not started a war for 300 years. Besides, the Iranian people did not attack any other country.
Bagheri noted that his country's interests in the Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz are closely associated with the security of the region. He described Iran as the most qualified and strongest country to be responsible for ensuring this factor.
He also said that Iran would stand against any party willing to threaten the security of the region and that the enemies of Iran will not dare to wage war because they are quite sure the losses will outweigh the benefits.
Last month, Bagheri had an official visit to Beijing heading a high-level military delegation at the request of his Chinese counterpart. Iran declared this visit "comes within the framework of the strategy of defence and military diplomacy, aiming to pave the way for a new page of cooperation and relations between the two countries."