According to Huffington Post, dated 06AUG15:
Iran tried to hold back Shia rebels who were intent on taking the Yemeni capital of Sanaa at the height of the uprising in 2014, President Barack Obama told a group of reporters Wednesday afternoon.
The Houthi rebels, however, ignored the advice and marched on, precipitating a much wider war in Yemen.
Obama's observation confirms an earlier Huffington Post report that, contrary to widespread assumptions in the United States, Iran was not the driving force of the crisis in Yemen.
The president relayed the anecdote as an example of how Iran is calculating, rational and opportunistic in its interventions, rather than being wildly driven by the passions of its ideology, at a briefing with reporters to discuss the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
“When the Houthis started moving, that wasn’t on orders from Soleimani, that wasn’t on an order from the IRGC,” he said, referring to Qasim Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”That was an expression of the traditional Houthi antagonism towards Sanaa, and some of the machinations of the former president, [Ali Abdullah] Saleh, who was making common cause out of expediency with the Houthis.”
"We watched as this proceeded. There were moments where Iran was actually urging potential restraint,” he said. ”Now, once the Houthis march in and there’s no there there” -- in other words, the government completely collapsed and Houthis expecting resistance found none at all -- “Commentary: Iranian intelligence likely assessed risks inherent with Ansarullah launching armed campaign in 2014. What's more, with the subsequent Feb. 2015 pullout of Western embassy personnel in Sanaa providing indication of impending Saudi-led air offensive, their warnings appeared vindicated.
Also related to Yemen from Huffington Post is this 05AUG15 interview of ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, click HERE. [h/t Tom Cooper] Excerpts:
Q: What do you consider to be the shortcomings of the Houthis?
A: Since they are now in charge of the county, Houthis should pay more attention to political work, and they should develop a convincing program, so that they can really present themselves as a superior alternative to Hadi the traitor and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Q: Did you know that they would take over Sanaa?
A: I have already clarified that I did not know that they would enter Sanaa, and that the person who was aware of that was the traitor Hadi, who helped them in order to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood and to get rid of them, as he did when he brought down Amran and got rid of Awlad al-Ahmar after they all became a burden.
Q: Among Saudi Arabia, Iran and Gulf countries, which do you consider a friend of the Yemeni people?
A: They are all friends. After its aggression on Yemen, Saudi Arabia is no longer a friend. It is a country that has assaulted my country and the Yemeni people.The entire interview deserves a full read at Huffington Post Arabi.