Al-Iryani: Yemenis Live a Miserable Situation with Paralyzed State Controlled by a Group ‏

National Yemen

Dr. Abdul Karim Ali al-Eryani

By NY Staff

The Political Adviser to President  Abduraboo Mansour Hadi, Dr. Abd Al-Karim Al-Iryani, has launched a scathing attack against the Houthi group, claiming them of  toppling the state.

He said, Yemenis live in a miserable situation and the state including all ministries and institutions can’t control the situation.

“The state is controlled by a new political group called the Houthis or Ansar Allah. It’s considered a non-civilian movement that aims to achieve its unclear goals through military ways,” he said.

National Yemen  English newspaper has translated Dr. Al-Iryani’s interview of last week’s issue of September 26  An Arabic Weekly newspaper published by the ministry of defense. To the first Question .

The newspaper: How do you see the situation in the country, either now and the near future? Will it be a modern civil state with a national partnership and equal citizenship?

 Dr. Al-Iryani: I can say that the current situation in Yemen is miserable. The state with all its ministries and institutions is controlled by the new political group called Houthies who  aim to achieve their goals using military means. For me, these goals are unclear and unlimited.

Despite the presence of the National Dialogue outputs and the Peace and Partnership Agreement, which allow the achievement of a modern civil state controlled by law, every ministry and institution behaves in a militaristic way having no respect for the law.

Don’t you think there are other political powers beside the Houthies understand the state like the Houthi, especially after they  have experienced six wars and great injustice?

Maybe, but the question is, how do we understand the state? Is the state controlled by a party? Or do all political parties implement the state’s laws?

If the Houthies faced a kind of injustice in the past, this doesn’t mean they have the right to destroy the state, at time being they don’t face any injustices. We are all brothers.

The Houthies believe that the Peace and Partnership Agreement is the best for everyone and they are a part of it, but they suspect the implementing of this agreement. How is the agreement considered to be the appropriate solution for Yemen?

First of all, the Peace and Partnership Agreement was designed to complete the first solution, which was the Gulf Initiative. This initiative has achieved four of its goals until now, such as stopping the conflict between the ruling party and the opposition, establishing a coalition government, the resignation of the president and handing over his powers to his deputy, electing a new president for Yemen within sixty days, and the fourth goal was the preparation of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC).

During the preparation of the NDC, we went Houthi’s leader , Abdul Malik al-Houthi,  we informed him about NDC schedule in which he agreed to be part of.

After that, they joined the dialogue and participated in all its stages as the other parties. There were problems and assassinations, but that shouldn’t prevent us from achieving the rest of the goals like the drafting of the constitution, which implements the NDC outputs.

Now the Peace and Partnership Agreement carries the same goals as the Gulf

Was the Peace and Partnership Agreement a demand from the Houthies without any foreign intervention, or an addition to the Gulf Initiative?

Whether the Gulf Initiative was mentioned or not, all that we do today, tomorrow, and until the election of the parliament come are considered to be part of the Gulf Initiative.

The Gulf Initiative gave a chance for Houthies to participate in the NDC. The Peace and Partnership Agreement is a great agreement, It provides solutions for many problems within the country.

After bargaining with the Houthies, you announced about the failure talk. Why?

Because we agreed about everything, and at the end of the negotiations, the Houthies said they would remove their camps from al-Sowbaha and Haziaz after forming the government. We told them to remove all their camps from those two places for sensitivity places, but they refused, so I announced the negotiations as a failure.

After that, the United Nations envoy, Jamal Bin Omar, went to Saada and brought the agreement, which was signed in September.

Do you think they have  signed the Peace and Partnership Agreement for that reason?

Yes they did, but they hesitated about the security index. I implemented all their demands. The security plan in the agreement was the first concern , Unfortunately the expansion of the Houthies continued and the country is practically destroyed.

 Houthies are saying there isn’t any state, Is this true?

This is their opinion. However, Yemen is a known country around the world and its flag is raised in the United Nations, the Arab League, and forty embassies. So, how can they say there isn’t a state?

The Houthis said, Yemen is suffering from imbalances that should be repaired. How do you response to this?

We are all partners in solving Yemen’s problems, not only the Houthies can do that.  Yemen will escape its miserable situation when we all agree to do so.

The Houthies reject foreign intervention in internal affairs and consider it guardianship. What is your comment?

Where is this guardianship? The fifteenth item of the Peace and Partnership Agreement emphasizes resolving any disputes through the direct dialogue in the framework NDC outputs by establishing a joint committee with the support of the United Nations.

In the same context, the seventh item emphasizes the parties’ demand to continue the support of the United Nations in order to implement the agreed actions in this agreement.

In addition, the seventh item was added by Jamal bin Omar while he was in Saada! So I don’t know why they speak a lot about guardianship.


Independence of the country is their major call, The Houthies have social extensions which has given them an excuse to meet  the wishes of these social extensions? Do they have the right to do so?

The social extensions don’t give the right for anyone in the world to intervene in the state’s affairs, which they are a part of.

They said they are part of the state and its partners, what do you say here?

So, why they intervention in the affairs of the state and the performance of state employees? Is there a similar situation in the world like this? Give me one example!

Their excuse is the corruption of the state management and its institutions, and this can’t be denied. Do you agree to their theory?

We agree about this problem but their solution is incorrect. We want to be a state as any state in world.

What do you reply to claims of guardianship and foreign interference?

Yemen makes its decisions by itself. Regional and international cooperation in solving problems is a normal thing in the entire world.

How do you explain the sudden appearance of the Houthis and their influence in society with the use of arms and policy? Did the fall of the capital and the provinces indicate a turning of society to their side? 

There is Arabic proverb that says that the meaning is in the poet’s belly. Maybe the weakness of the army eased the matter for them.

Acquiring society is a lie. No one can acquire society alone. Society is for all people and all political forces.

The Houthies say we must face the security breaches and impose security and stability in the county?

Not at all, they entered themselves in the state’s affairs. When they hear about problems they go quickly to solve it within their offices through their Popular Committees.

Security breaches are normal and are found in every society, but they increase when the state weakens.

The Houthies are upset, according to them, that the government doesn’t appreciate the efforts of the Popular Committees even though they carry many burdens in facing the terrorism as well as achieving security and stability.

I wished not to say that because I said it in a formal meeting with the President of the Republic and everything was stated in a formal meeting. The Houthis aren’t building the county, they are destroying it.

Could you please evaluate the work of the Popular Committees in facing terrorism and imposing security?

The state and its institutions are responsible for this . The Houthies aren’t fighting terrorism, they are fighting with Yemenis. If they think that they are fighting terrorism I congratulate them, but I believe that terrorism is a phenomenon which can’t be faced by an irregular movement. I confirmed that what Houthis do increases the number of Al-Qaeda sympathizers.

The Countries of the region are considered partners in achieving security and stability. However, they have stopped supporting Yemen. How has this affected the transitional period? What is the responsibility of everyone to preserve this partnership?

The GCC countries have welcomed the Peace and Partnership Agreement, including other Arab, Muslim and  the international community. However, they are now watching something they have never seen before. They said they want to deal with a state, but they find a state inside a state, which makes them stop their support to the country.

Do you think there is regional guardianship?

Never. There isn’t any regional guardianship. They have the right to stop support. They began dealing with a state, but now there is a political party that controls the state’s ministries, provinces, and that moves as it wants.

The Houthies said that there are social components announcing their support of them. What do you say?

In this unstable situation, it’s possible. Even Al-Qaeda has announced the support of some societies to it.

But there isn’t any comparison between Al-Qaeda and the Houthies, who are partners in the Peace and Partnership Agreement.

We are partners only if we are equal. If we aren’t, the partnership is unacceptable.

What is your view on the Iranian statements about the political and military role of the Houthies and their impact on the political map?

Actually, there is a diplomatic relation between Iran and Yemen and it isn’t my business to evaluate it.

In addition, there isn’t any country in the world that praised the control of the Houthi of the capital Sana’a. However, all the statements issued by Iranian officials welcomed the Houthis and this raises questions.

How do you see the agreement between the Houthis and the Islah Party recently?

I consider it a positive step that will help in achieving security and stability in the country.

Would this agreement change the map of alliances?

No, this will not change anything. There are special problems between the Houthis and Islah, which must be addressed one day.

Do you expect success for this agreement?

I can’t predict that.

The relationship between the General Popular Congress (GPC) and the Houthis is sometimes clear and sometimes not. Does this mean there is an alliance? How do you see it?

Why doesn’t the GPC announce its alliance with the Houthis like the Islah Party did? For me, it isn’t transparent so it’s not useful for any side.

There is ambiguity by the GPC. Is it a legitimate political maneuver, or pressures imposed by individuals or hidden agendas?

Everything done by the GPC serves many sides, more than the GPC itself. Unlike other political parties, if what happens doesn’t serve the GPC, it will not serve the national interest.

Do you think the GPC exposed individual work instead of the institutional account?

There is something to the individual work that is considered illegal, such as adding people to the General Committee, but of course the GPC doesn’t lose its members.

So, why we do we hear voices of opposition from the GPC?

These voices aim to preserve the GPC and I’m one of those who reject what happened.

Is the GPC exposed to disintegration?

Never, this isn’t disintegration, it’s just differences.

Does President Hadi have a role in what happens in the GPC in the south? 

Never, Hadi deals with matters quietly.

How do you explain that? Is it a reaction as a result of declaring the separation of Hadi and al-Iryani from the GPC?

It’s not like that, they just express their opposition for what happened and separation was an incorrect decision.

Where will the GPC arrive?

I trust that the Popular Congress is able to preserve its unity and role in serving the homeland.

They have agreed to stop the intervention of the President of the GPC, the First Deputy, and the Secretary-General in the daily affairs of the GPC.

The management of the GPC is headed by the Second Deputy and Assistant Secretaries and it has started to draw its plans to strengthen its political role.

Let’s move to another issue, the Yemen partnership with regional and international partners. Is it partnership or guardianship?

It’s not guardianship. Every decision taken in Yemen is taken by Yemenis themselves. Both the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations want to take Yemen out of its crisis with the agreement of all Yemenis. Yemenis themselves are the owners of the executive mechanism of the Gulf Initiative.

Some say that Jamal Bin Omar has became part of the problem, not the solution? How do you evaluate the role of Bin Omar?

This is their own opinion, but I don’t agree with it.

Bin Omar did his role impartially. For example, during the Peace and Partnership Agreement, I failed to negotiate with the Houthis but he succeeded in doing that.

They say he prepares for all meetings of officials. Does he impose his opinion through his office in Sana’a?

He doesn’t impose his opinion, even if he has an office.

Do think that Bin Omar has any opponents in any political party?

Of course he has, and he replies to all their accusations.

There is an issue you haven’t mentioned, which is the Peace and Partnership Agreement and its clause to hand all the arms taken by the Houthis from Amran, Sana’a, Hodeida, and maybe Yarim. Without returning these arms, the world will not trust the agreement. How can they trust it while the Houthis have more arms that the Yemeni army?

The southern demands seem to be internationalization. What do you say about that?

The interest in the south and Saada, as initial issues in the Gulf Initiative and the NDC, isn’t considered internationalization. It’s a feeling of injustice they are exposed to.

For those who say that there is nothing implemented until now, I want tell them that rights aren’t implemented through decisions or committees, but are implemented by a constitution.

What about equal sharing in the north and south being included in the Constitution?

There are rules that can’t be ignored. We are in a period to remove all the injustices in north and south, and the new constitution was formed to create a civil and modern country. The regions will make every citizen manage his affairs by himself while the center is the protector for sovereignty and unity.

How do you see the attempt of some political forces to take advantage of the southern issue for their political interests?

It’s very normal. The southern issue took the attention of all parties, more than the Saada issue, which indicates its importance. For me, I consider this a positive thing, not a negative.

The official spokesman for the Houthis said that there was an agreement with Ali Salim al-Beidh and Ali Nasser Mohammed to find a federal solution for the South.

Isn’t the constitution a federal solution for all the issues in Yemen?

So, what about the Popular Committees in the army?

Those were accepted formally by the military and security colleges.

About the Saada issue, some say that it’s been neglected.

Neither the southern issue nor the Saada issue are neglected. All were discussed freely in the NDC. About the losses caused by wars, there is finance and funding for compensation.

What about the regions, are they six or two? People would like to know.

I stated in formal meeting that two regions means secession.

What about if the political forces agreed on the two regions?

They are free to do so, but I will not change my opinion.

There are people think that the Azaal region is na oppressed area by its resources and location, especially since it’s a conflict region.

The state is responsible for distributing the state’s wealth among the regions, but what should it do if it’s a tribal region where there are always conflicts? In this case, the citizens should improve their region by themselves and make it modern region.

What about the British vision that there will be three regions?

Yemenis should understand that the British today isn’t like the British in 1839. I’m sure that the British don’t have any ambitions or conspiracy or anything in Yemen.

The army is exposed to disintegration and dispersion, why?

I’m very sad about what happened to the Yemeni army, but I’m sure the modern state will have a national and strong army.

Is there a specific plan to rebuild the army?

Yes, there will be a professional vision for the army, but it can’t begin until the start of the modern state. The army must be rebuilt based on national and fair foundations, no matter the financial costs and resources, including the return of southern soldiers to the army.

Terrorism has led Yemen to an economic and security crises. Where are the political forces to face terrorism?

All are agreed that terrorism is unacceptable thought, religiously and traditionally.

Some say that using drones to fight terrorism shows the weakness of national sovereignty. What is your opinion? 

That isn’t right, the state has the right to sign agreements that serve the state. Americans fly in Yemeni sky according an agreement that was signed with them in the former regime and still continues today.

There are who call for early elections and a presidential council. How do you see these claims?

I consider it a coup against the NDC. The elections have finished and President Hadi was elected. The transitional phase has been extended according to the situation and the agreement that the role of the president finishes when a new president is elected.

At the end of the interview, what would you like to say?

No one is better than anyone else, only by national work. There isn’t one who is better than another one in attacking terrorism and corruption. We are all against these phenomena.