February 27, 2024

Young Presses Biden Administration on Houthi Attacks, Need for Strategy to Deter Iran’s Destabilizing Actions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, pressed the Biden Administration on its strategy for dealing with recent attacks against commercial shipping by Iran-backed Houthis during a hearing on security issues in the Red Sea.

During his opening remarks, Young called out the actions of Iran and its terrorist proxies in the region.

“The actions of Iran’s proxies in Yemen and the surrounding waters threaten the lives of innocent mariners and sailors, as well as significant global commerce, and they risk destabilizing a fragile pathway toward peace in Yemen. Nine nations border the Red Sea and connecting gulfs. None of them are Iran. And yet the bloodstained fingerprints of the world’s leading state sponsor of terror are all over the Red Sea,” said Young.

Video of Young’s opening remarks can be viewed here and below:


Young pressed Daniel B. Shapiro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy, about the legal basis for the Biden Administration’s response to Houthi attacks and its future goals for deterring Iranian aggression. Young also questioned Timothy A. Lenderking, U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen, on the impact the Houthis’ actions are having on humanitarian concerns in Yemen and the path towards a sustainable peace for the Yemeni people.

“It’s imperative that the administration respond to these actions while demonstrating it (has) both a strategy for deterring aggression and appropriate legal doctrine. To date, I have not seen such a strategy put forward,” said Young.

In January, Young and a bipartisan group of senators pressed the Biden Administration on its strategy in response to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. They also underscored that any offensive or sustained military action against the Houthis must require a vote of Congress.

Video of Young’s questions can be viewed here and below:


To watch the today’s full hearing, click here.