'Designating Houthis as terrorists big mistake'

TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) – While the Trump administration is to designate Yemen's Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization, former US Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein, calls the decision "a big mistake".

"It's a big mistake," said former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein. "It mostly is a problem for the US government more than for Yemen's Houthi movement."

"The Houthis will be more or less unaffected by this. Obviously, Iran doesn't care whether we designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization or not," he told CNN Monday.

"But it does make it much more complicated for the US government to play a positive role in helping to resolve the conflict."

The Trump administration is to designate Yemen's Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization in a move that diplomats, members of Congress, and international aid groups fear could further inflame the situation on the ground, upend UN peace talks, and exacerbate the country's humanitarian crisis.

In a statement released just before midnight Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State Department would notify Congress of its intent to designate the group as a foreign terrorist organization as well as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity.

Pompeo said he also intends to designate three of the group's leaders -- Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim -- as specially designated global terrorists.

Head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory W. Meeks has called on the next US President Joe Biden to overturn the Trump administration’s decision.


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