The recent death of Hassan Eyrlou, Iran’s ambassador to the Houthis, who was also a commander and representative of Iran’s terrorist designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has shed fresh light on the group’s internal leadership disagreements and on growing friction between the Houthis and Iran, political analysts said.
Many Houthis regarded IRGC commander Hasan Eyrlou, an Iranian, as an outsider, analysts told Al-Mashareq. And in their view, he was exerting an outsized influence in Yemen.
Houthi officials also assured Riyadh they would not replace Eyrlou with a new Iranian diplomat — though within days of his death, Iran was announcing its intention to send a new ambassador in his place.
Analysts told Al-Mashareq that the terrorist designated IRGC commander’s unilateral management style, especially regarding the direction of military operations in Houthi-controlled areas — of which he served as the de facto governor — had caused internal rifts.
It also created a fissure between the Houthis and their longtime backer, the Islamic Republic, with some Houthis expressing resentment over the extent and nature of Iran’s attempt to exert control over the conflict in Yemen.
As the de facto ruler of Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, Eyrlou was crafting military plans with the assistance of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) elements under his command, political analyst Mahmoud al-Taher said.
“Eyrlou was the representative of the IRGC in Yemen,” Abaad Centre for Studies and Research in Yemen director Abdul Salam Mohammed said, speaking about the IRGC commander who was also furthering Iran’s agenda in Yemen.
“If it weren’t for his presence, the drones, missiles, and modern weapons would not have been sent to Yemen,” Mohammed said.
Eyrlou’s death “is a major blow to Iran”, Mohammed said.
Iranian weapons have exacerbated and extended Yemen’s war, which has dragged on for more than seven years, to the detriment of the Yemeni people.