Shapps warns Iran: Patience is running out with your Houthi thugs

British defence minister Grant Shapps

© APA | British defence minister Grant Shapps

# 13 January 2024 14:40 (UTC +04:00)

British defence minister Grant Shapps has warned Iran that the world is “running out of patience” after Britain and America launched air strikes against Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in an interview with The Telegraph, APA reports.

The Defence Secretary said the Iranian regime must tell the Houthis and other Middle Eastern proxies to “cease and desist”, warning that a “limit has been truly crossed”.

On Thursday night, RAF Typhoon jets launched Paveway IV laser-guided bombs at two Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen, in a raid that the Government believes has significantly reduced the group’s ability to attack commercial ships in the Red Sea.

The mission was undertaken with US forces, who used air, sea and submarine assets in the Red Sea to target more than 60 Houthi sites linked to 27 attacks since November.

Early on Saturday, news agencies reported the US military was carrying out an additional strike against the Houthis in Yemen, according to US officials, a day after launching attacks. One official said the additional target was a radar site.

Asked what his message to Iran would be, Mr Shapps said: “You must get the Houthi rebels, others who are acting as proxies for you, Lebanese Hezbollah are obvious examples, [and] some in Iraq and Syria, you must get these different organisations to cease and desist because we are, the world is, running out of patience.

“We see you, we see through what you’re doing. We see how you’re doing it, particularly the Houthi rebels, and no good can come from it.”

Mr Shapps said: “We are acting in self-defence because of the shipping situation, because of HMS Diamond being attacked. Iran has an important part to play here and needs to understand that it needs to be clearer with its many proxies in the region that no good can come from this and everyone loses if they carry on going down this track.

“We can’t have thugs, essentially, harassing international shipping and running the risks. It’s only a matter of time before there are deaths of entirely innocent people [who are] completely disconnected to what’s going on in the Israel-Gaza conflict.”

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