NEW DELHI: Whilst the US and Iran make progress on a landmark Nuclear deal having agreed to a framework a few weeks ago, the crisis in Yemen is indicative of the fact that the two countries remain on opposite sides of the fence.

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Iran over its alleged support of Houthi rebels, who are pitted against Saudi-backed and US supported incumbent President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

As the crisis in Yemen escalates, the US hit out at Iran with Kerry saying that the US would support any state in the Middle East that felt threatened by Iran, and would not "stand by" if Iran destabilised the region. "There are obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran. There are a number of flights every single week that have been flying in,” Kerry told PBS Newshour. "Iran needs to recognise that the US is not going to stand by while the region is destabilised or while people engage in overt warfare across lines, international boundaries and other countries.”

While Saudi Arabia has openly thrown its weight behind Hadi, initiating airstrikes targeting Houthi rebels on March 26, Iran has denied any role in the crisis. Referring to allegations against Iran, the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said "It is noteworthy that such remarks are made despite the ongoing meddling and moves by some regional countries in Yemen contrary to the country's interests and security," adding that "the falsity of these claims is quite clear.”

Hadi, meanwhile, has denounced the rebels as Iran’s “puppet.” "I say to the puppet of Iran, and those who are with him, you destroyed Yemen with your immature politics, and creating internal and regional crisis," Hadi declared.

However, Iran dispatched two navy vessels to the Gulf of Aden -- off the southern coast of Yemen -- on Wednesday.

The Shia country has proposed a four-step solution to ending the crisis, involving a ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian assistance, a national dialogue and the formation of a broad-based government. "The people of Yemen should not have to face aerial bombardment," Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif said whilst in Pakistan -- which, on its part -- given its close ties with Saudi Arabia -- is contemplating joining the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Yemen, hence, is the battleground for the region -- split along sectarian lines. Backing Saudi Arabia in its latest offensive, called “Operation Decisive Storm” is the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Sudan.

(Source: CNN)

In addition to becoming the regional battlefield, the conflict in Iran is also symbolic of the United State’s confused policy regarding the middle east. In Yemen, the US is supporting Sunni rebels, whereas in Iraq and Syria, it is fighting Sunni rebels.

In fact, fighting the Shia Houthis is Yemen will serve to bolster the Sunni fighters active in the country -- namely, the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Further, it was also help the new kid on the block in Yemen -- the Islamic State, who the US-led coalition is battling in Iraq and Syria, with US aircraft, for the first time, pounding Islamic State positions in Tikrit on Thursday. The setting in Yemen is now perfect for the Islamic State. Conflict organized along sectarian Shia-Sunni divisions, a powerful Saudi-led US-backed coalition bombing the key Shia rebel militia, the Houthis, thereby paving the way for Sunni militias like the AQAP and the Islamic State. Earlier in March, the Islamic State carried out its first major attack within Yemen. Suicide bombers attacked two mosques linked to the Shiite Houthis, killing 137 and injuring 350 people. A group claiming to be a Yemeni branch of the Islamic State said it was responsible for the bombings.