Ibrahim al-Dulaimi

Ibrahim al-Dulaimi is the Houthi ambassador to Iran. He is the former director-general of the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV station.“Government outraged as Yemen rebels make TV boss ‘ambassador’ to Iran,” National (Abu Dhabi), last updated March 1, 2020, https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/mena/government-outraged-as-yemen-rebels-make-tv-boss-ambassador-to-iran-1.899666.

In February 2015, the Iran-backed Houthis seized power in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa and expelled the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, drawing protest from the U.N. Security Council.“Yemen’s Houthis Form Own Government in Sanaa,” Al Jazeera, February 6, 2015, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/02/yemen-houthi-rebels-announce-presidential-council-150206122736448.html. Hadi fled to Aden and rescinded his resignation.Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Yemen’s Hadi Flees to Aden and Says He Is Still President,” Reuters, February 21, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/21/us-yemen-security-idUSKBN0LP08F20150221. The internationally recognized Yemeni government has since operated from Aden. Hadi severed Yemen’s relations with Iran in October 2015. The Houthis appointed Dulaimi as ambassador of the Houthi government to Iran in August 2019.“Government outraged as Yemen rebels make TV boss ‘ambassador’ to Iran,” National (Abu Dhabi), last updated March 1, 2020, https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/mena/government-outraged-as-yemen-rebels-make-tv-boss-ambassador-to-iran-1.899666. According to Al Masirah TV, a “presidential decree was issued appointing Ibrahim Mohammed Mohammed al-Dailami as an ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for the republic of Yemen to the Islamic republic of Iran.”“Yemen Huthi rebels appoint ‘ambassador’ in Tehran,” France 24, August 18, 2019, https://www.france24.com/en/20190818-yemen-huthi-rebels-appoint-ambassador-in-tehran. The internationally recognized Yemeni government condemned the appointment as a breach of “the international laws and norms and contravenes United Nations Security Council resolutions related to the Yemen crisis.”“Yemen Huthi rebels appoint ‘ambassador’ in Tehran,” France 24, August 18, 2019, https://www.france24.com/en/20190818-yemen-huthi-rebels-appoint-ambassador-in-tehran. Iran accepted the appointment and transferred Yemen’s official diplomatic residence in Tehran to Dulaimi. The Yemeni government condemned Iran’s recognition of Dulaimi.“Yemen Denounces Iran’s Recognition of Houthis’ Envoy,” Asharq al-Awsat (London), November 20, 2019, https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2000266/yemen-denounces-irans-recognition-houthis-envoy. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has since met with Dulaimi and the Iranian government has recognized the legitimacy of the Houthi government. In October 2020, Iran appointed its own ambassador, Hassan Eyrlou, to the Houthi government.“Tehran Boosts Support for Houthis by Appointing Ambassador to Sanaa,” Asharq al-Awsat (London), October 18, 2020, https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2571116/tehran-boosts-support-houthis-appointing-ambassador-sanaa.

Just before the one-year anniversary of the January 3, 2020, death of IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike, Dulaimi claimed the Houthis had launched a series of attacks in retaliation for Soleimani’s death. Among the assaults Dulaimi claimed was a December 30, 2020, attack on Aden’s airport that killed at least 25 and wounded more than 110 others, for which Houthi spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti had previously denied responsibility. The attacks were coordinated with other Iran-backed militias in the region, according to Dulaimi, who called Soleimani a “comrade in arms.”“Houthis concede staging attacks to avenge Soleimani’s death,” The Reference,  January 12, 2021, https://www.thereference-paris.com/14727; Saeed Al-Batati and Vivian Yee, “Yemen Airport Is Attacked as New Government Arrives,” New York Times, December 30, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/30/world/middleeast/yemen-explosion-airport.html.

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