'Hamas, Hezbollah helping Iran in Yemen'
Washington believes that Hezbollah and Hamas are helping their backers in Iran to expand its influence in Yemen at the expense of Yemen's Gulf neighbors, the US envoy to Sanaa told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Sunday.
In a London interview, Gerald Feierstein was quoted as accusing Hezbollah and Hamas of helping their backers in Shi'ite Iran at the expense of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a bloc in which Sunni-led oil giant Saudi Arabia's influence is dominant.
Iran is working with Shi'ite Muslim rebels in northern Yemen and secessionists in the country's south to expand its influence, Feierstein said.
"The Iranians want to build influence in Yemen... both internally and more broadly in the region by establishing a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula," the paper quoted Feierstein as saying in remarks published in Arabic. "It's something that's naturally regarded as a security threat to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC states." (...)