Yemeni President Abd Raboh Mansur Hadi, who the White House has called a strong partner in fighting terrorism, and his government resigned Thursday in the face of attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis.
The Houthis have reportedly
been trained, financed, and armed by Iran since 2011, and their slogan
is “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, damn the Jews, victory to Islam.” A member of the Iranian parliament, Ali Reza Zakani, who is close to Khamenei, said
that Sanaa has become the fourth Arab capital to join the Iranian Revolution (after Beirut, Damascus, and Baghdad). A senior Iranian official told Reuters
that a “few hundred” military personnel of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force (designated a terrorist organization
by the U.S. Treasury Department} are in Yemen to train Houthis and that approximately 100 Houthis have trained near the Iranian city of Qom. An intelligence source told
the paper Asharq Al-Awsat
last September that Hezbollah operatives were fighting in Yemen alongside the Houthis. Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior international affairs advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, made statements intimating
that he believes the Houthis will play a role in Yemen analogous to the one Hezbollah plays in Lebanon. Also Thursday, Houthi fighters launched an attack
against a Yemeni government base in Marib province, east of Sanaa, an area that contains much of Yemen’s oil infrastructure. The Houthis’ leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, had threatened
Hadi Tuesday night with further “measures” if the latter did not agree to capitulate to Houthi demands. Earlier Thursday, the Houthis had agreed to, and then backed out of, a deal
. The Houthis, members of the Zaydi branch
of Shia Islam, captured
Sanaa last September. After agreeing
to join the government in November, Houthi fighters launched an assault
on Monday against government forces that culminated in the seizure
of the presidential palace on Tuesday.
A federal judge in Argentina released a criminal complaint yesterday alleging that the Argentine government had attempted to negotiate a deal with Iran that would whitewash Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center, in return for trade deals that would provide Argentina with cheap Iranian oil. The complaint included transcripts of intercepted conversations between officials from the Iranian and Argentinean governments that corroborate this accusation. The complaint was written by Alberto Nisman, who led Argentina’s state investigation into the attack in 2006 and who died under mysterious circumstances that Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner said was not a suicide. His earlier investigation had concluded that the Iranian regime and Hezbollah were responsible for the AMIA bombing, which killed 85 people. The investigation led to the indictment of eight high-level Iranians, including former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. Interpol put out arrest warrants for them. However, in 2013 the Argentinean government agreed to set up a joint commission with Iran, the very country accused of carrying out the attack, to investigate the bombing. Many found this to be a travesty of justice. An Argentine court later ruled that the joint commission was unconstitutional, and Interpol refused to lift the arrest warrants they had issued.
Nisman was scheduled to present evidence at a congressional hearing in Buenos Aires this week in support of his allegations that President Kirchner and Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Hector Timerman were trying to absolve Iran of its involvement in the 1994 bombing. But the day before the hearing, Nisman was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound to his head. No suicide note was found and no gunpowder residue was detected on his hands. The service door to his apartment was not fully locked and a third entrance to his home was found which connected his apartment to another apartment that was occupied by a foreign national. Police are currently investigating a footprint and fingerprint found inside this passageway. Nisman had been receiving death threats for years from Iranians. Iran has expanded its influence in Latin America where it maintains intelligence networks that conduct terror attacks on targets in the Western Hemisphere.
Cloud storage provider Dropbox has acquired Israeli startup CloudOn for an undisclosed price.
The Herzliya-based cloud service offers users the tools to edit Microsoft Office documents from their mobile devices. The CloudOn team thanked its users in a blog post while announcing the buyout. “From the beginning, my co-founders and I built CloudOn to change the way people edit, create, organize and share docs on any platform,” writes CloudOn CEO Milind Gadekar. “What we’ve achieved alongside our 9 million users – the driving force behind CloudOn – has been pretty incredible: over 90 million documents have been edited, created or shared on CloudOn.” CloudOn announced that it will close its service on March 15, 2015 and transition its users to Dropbox. According to reports, Dropbox hosts more than 35 billion Office documents on its servers. (via Israel21c