The Houthis’ War Is Iran’s War
The Red Sea has become one of the world’s most serious geopolitical flashpoints. Yemen’s terrorist Houthi movement is targeting merchant ships in the Red Sea amid Hamas’s war with Israel. The United States has organized an international coalition to combat the Houthis’ bombardment.
The Houthis have caused problems for their neighbors before. But this time, it’s different.
The Houthis are a Shiite jihadist group sponsored by Iran. Ordinarily, Iran keeps its presence in Yemen invisible to claim plausible deniability. But in this case, Iran’s involvement is both active and open. And Iran is threatening to escalate circumstances in the Red Sea like it’s never done before.
According to a December 22 Wall Street Journal article, the Houthis are receiving the information needed to locate their targets from an Iranian spy ship. The Journal claimed “[t]racking information gathered by a Red Sea surveillance vessel controlled by Iran’s paramilitary forces is given to the Houthis, who have used it to attack commercial vessels passing through the Bab el-Mandeb strait.”
“The Houthis don’t have the radar technology to target the ships,” a security official cited by the Journal said. “They need Iranian assistance. Without it, the missiles would just drop in the water.”
Iran and the Houthis deny the allegations. But that doesn’t mean Iran doesn’t want its involvement in the trade disruption known.
On December 23, a merchant vessel in the Indian Ocean was struck by a drone. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the drone was launched directly from Iranian territory. The Japanese-owned Chem Pluto chemical tanker suffered no casualties, but the event triggered a rescue response from the Indian Navy. This is the first time Iran has attacked a civilian vessel from its own territory since the Hamas war began on October 7. That it coincides with the Houthis’ forays suggests Iran wants to send a message of its involvement in the Red Sea incidents.
That same day, an Iranian general hinted more trade routes might come under attack. Brig. Gen. Mohammed Reza Naqdi told state media Iran’s enemies “shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar and other waterways.” Naqdi didn’t specify how Iran would do this.
Clarksons, a ship broker, estimates roughly 20 percent of container shipping and 10 percent of seaborne oil has passed through the Red Sea in 2023. The world will feel the effect of losing the Red Sea route for world trade—especially Europe. Ships from East Asia and the Middle East will have to sail around South Africa to reach Europe. Higher shipping costs will increase the costs of everything from food to fuel to clothing.
This latest push in the Red Sea comes on the heels of another standoff between Europe and Iran—this time in Lebanon. Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese proxy, threatened to invade Israel if Israel invaded Gaza. Germany made heavy threats of retaliation if Hezbollah followed through. Israel invaded Gaza; Hezbollah backed off. The Red Sea arguably has greater geostrategic significance than Lebanon. The chaos with the Houthis could be Iran’s way of jabbing back at Germany.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the July 2016 Trumpet issue:
Iran already dominates the Persian Gulf. Now it is working to take over the Red Sea—you can see this by how involved it is in Yemen. Iran also has a heavy influence in Somalia. It has had a long-standing relationship with Sudan, and prophecy tells us it will gain control of Ethiopia and Egypt. Egypt controls the Suez Canal, which is the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea.
Putting this together, you can see that Iran seeks to control the greatest trade route in the world!
Mr. Flurry based this on a prophecy in Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships: and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
This prophecy is about two-end time power blocs: a “king of the north” and a “king of the south.” Mr. Flurry has identified the king of the north as a united European power and the king of the south as a radical Islamist group led by Iran. (Please read his free booklet The King of the South for more information.)
Notice that the king of the south is to start a war through a “push.” The Hebrew word translated as “push” means to “strike with the horn, used of horned animals” (see Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon). This power has an extremely pushy, painful foreign policy that provokes chaos and mayhem.
Verses 42-43 show radical Iran will gain a huge proxy empire throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including countries like Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia—areas bordering the general Red Sea-Mediterranean corridor. States like Egypt and Libya have yet to fall to radical Islam. But the events in Yemen show Iran already has enough control over the Red Sea to hit Europe where it hurts.
What is the end result of this? Mr. Flurry continued:
I think there are visionaries in Europe who see the beginning of this prophecy about Ethiopia, Libya and Egypt allying with or falling to radical Islam. Using a little imagination, they realize that Iran could gain control of these unstable nations. If that happened, it would be a real problem for Europe, because Iran could block European trade through the Suez Canal at will!
While the world is mostly blind to it, some in Europe are waking up to Iran’s plan to capture the Mediterranean. The Europeans see the king of the south pushing through this policy! It is creating a sense of urgency in them to counter this push.
To learn more, read Mr. Flurry’s article “Mediterranean Battle Escalating Into World War III!”