The financial crisis prompted Iran's arm to calm down and negotiate the sharing of oil revenues

English - Thursday 25 May 2023 الساعة 05:00 pm
Sana'a, NewsYemen, exclusive:

The circle of economic and financial vulnerability of the Houthi militia - Iran's arm in Yemen - is expanding, driven by huge military spending, sectarian mobilization budgets, and periodic financial payments to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Despite its great superiority in mobilizing financial resources.

Reports of international crisis experts confirm that the Houthis' agreement to the truce last year and the subsequent military truce was due to their suffering from financial weakness, lack of fuel and hard currency, exacerbation of economic pressures and the rise in commodity prices as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Since the Houthi militia's coup against the state in late 2014, it has stopped spending on basic public services: electricity, health, and education, and has turned them into expenses for summer centers for sectarian mobilization, cultural courses, and celebrations of extremist religious events.

The information obtained by "Newsyemen" indicates that the expenditures of the Houthi military militia exceed 50 billion riyals per month, in addition to the regular salaries of the supreme bodies of the militia's leadership, the value of Iranian arms imports, and the Lebanese Hezbollah's monthly share of Yemeni public financial resources.

The sources say: The Houthi militia pays 10 billion riyals per month for the expenditures of qat for its fighters in 43 active fronts - one front includes dozens of sites - and 12 billion riyals for the 70,000 militia fighters, and 4 billion salaries for the total number of its dead, amounting to 35,000.

The rest of the amount is distributed in food and fuel supplies, logistics, and the salaries of the security, intelligence and investigation teams deployed throughout the areas under its control.

Since the imposition of US sanctions on Iran, Tehran is no longer able to pay Hezbollah's expenses. According to a report published by "Voice of Beirut International", Iran has included Hezbollah in the process of sharing the wealth of Yemenis in areas under the control of the Houthi militia.

The report confirmed that Hezbollah took advantage of its assistance to the Houthis, and imposed regular money payments on everything the Houthis owned in return for their assistance. It established fuel stations and sold gas and commercial electricity generators, the profits of which belong to Hezbollah, in addition to imposing money on the stations run by the Houthis, and forcing them to hand over shares of tax revenue.

The Houthi militia also pays the value of the weapons it receives from Iran, which was confirmed by the spokesman for the Iranian forces, Abu al-Fadl Shikarji, on several occasions that the economic conditions do not allow Iran to give everything to our Houthi allies for free, stressing that the Houthis sometimes buy some things from them.

In its latest report on Yemen, the International Crisis Group confirmed that the Houthis have not launched an attack on Marib since the truce expired, as it quoted a Houthi official as saying: "Everyone is exhausted."

The report indicated that the Houthis' goal of attacking Marib in 2020 onwards is to control oil and gas production facilities in the governorate, the refinery and power stations, but progress has stopped, leaving their budgets unchanged. This prompted the Houthis to raise their economic demands in negotiations with the United Nations, and later with the Saudis.

The Houthis demand the sharing of government oil revenues, with the Presidential Leadership Council, and obtain a continuous income through the payment of salaries, and to achieve their goal they have banned the export of oil to the government through their attacks on the oil and gas export infrastructure in the south of the country.

Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein al-Ezzi had offered a cessation of attacks in exchange for a redistribution of oil revenues at the national and provincial levels based on the 2014 budget. Under this plan, the Houthis would receive 70 to 80 percent of total oil revenues.

The Houthi militia still controls Sana'a, its commercial and financial center, and the ports of Al-Hodeidah Governorate, and uses "judicial powers" to confiscate the assets of political opponents.

The Human Rights Practices in Yemen 2022 report said that the Houthis continued to benefit from the confiscation of state resources, taxes on the business sector, and the diversion of humanitarian aid.

The human rights report, issued by the US State Department, added that the Houthis "imposed multiple taxes and levies on the people under their control and spent the revenues collected on the war and their corrupt network that runs the state."

According to observers, the truce, and the subsequent military calm, the opening of Sana'a airport and the lifting of restrictions on the port of Hodeidah, stopped the drying up of the Houthi militia's operating finances, which it was seeking to achieve through its attacks on the oil governorate of Ma'rib.

They added that the Houthi militia's negotiating strategy succeeded in reopening Sana'a airport and lifting restrictions on the port of Hodeidah, which enhances its financial resources, as the volume of fuel imports through the ports of Hodeidah governorate grew by 400 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to previous years.