Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hosted a senior Houthi official just days after the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen suffered a major setback. During the meeting, Khamenei reinforced his support for the Houthis – who control the Yemeni capital Sana’a and other major cities – and accused Tehran’s regional foes of a “plot” to partition the war-torn country. The meeting came just days after forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council seized Aden, the seat of the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The development further complicates an already precarious situation whereby a Saudi-led coalition for over four years has been fighting the Houthis in a bid to reestablish Hadi’s rule. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates, which did much of the heavy lifting on the ground on behalf of the US-backed coalition, recently announced that it would pull its forces out of Yemen. Abu Dhabi supports the STC, a scenario that could cause friction with Riyadh. South Yemen was an independent nation until it merged with the north in 1990.