Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Articles & Testimony
Given the lack of a decisive U.S. response, further clashes will likely arise in strategically crucial waterways whenever Tehran sees fit to nudge the Houthis.
To protest Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Houthi regime in Yemen is attacking vessels with some sort of Israeli connection—even as little as partial ownership. And it is becoming increasingly difficult not to conclude that the spider controlling the actions of the Houthis—as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon and attacks on U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq—is Iran. Apart from pressure on Israel, the actions by the Houthis are a direct challenge to the U.S. Efforts by both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to defeat the movement have failed, to the embarrassment of these vastly richer nations with their well-equipped militaries. Washington is helping to broker a peace agreement but is bogged down in details, and the Houthis, with or without the encouragement of Iran, are being awkward. For Washington, the task is infuriating. A group of rifle-toting tribesmen, endowed with some missiles provided by Iran, has taken on the might of the U.S. military and is endangering a major sea transit route...