Sayyed Mohammad Marandi to al-Ahed: Saudi Arabia Humiliation Unprecedented
It is neither a war between Sunnis and Shias nor a war between the Iranian and Arabs. It is also not a war of Saudi-Iranian proxy as depicted by the Kingdom of Sands nor are the Houthis [known as Ansarullah] mercenaries willing to occupy the country. These have been the narratives adopted by major Western mainstream media and other Arab media outlets that set a blind eye to the neo-colonial project in the region and the fear of some political players for influence and hegemony as does the kingdom of Al-Saud. But Houthis, or Ansarullah, like any other people who do not enjoy a sovereign state due to foreign interference, want basic citizenship rights and religious freedoms.
Political Analyst to al-Ahed: Saudi Arabia Humiliation Unprecedented
Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and a dozen Arab countries, gave itself full right to launch a war on Yemen, under the pretext that it wants to defend the ‘legitimate’ government of supposedly transitional President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country in light of poor popularity and acceptance among his own people. Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, and in breach of international law [that stipulates no country should meddle or interfere in the domestic affairs of another country] had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official claimed in blatant intervention was “an offensive to restore a Yemeni government.”
Hadi Gov’t Legitimacy under Question
Reports from the ground highlight the deepening crisis for the country’s 26 million residents with a war launched to allegedly protect what is described as a legitimate government.
Presidents are elected for one purpose usually: to serve their nation, but in Yemen it’s the other way around. The president is “chosen” to serve foreign agendas and launch war against his own people, with a vivid example of ousted president Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi – elected in a single-candidate system with “no” votes not allowed – is such a politician.
Political analyst and Dean of the faculty of World Studies at Tehran University, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, in answer to the Saudi justification of war and defense to what it titles a ‘genuine’ Yemeni government said that the Mansour Hadi government is not legitimate because there was no real elections as he was the only candidate; hence there was no true electoral process. He furthermore pointed out that Hadi was supposed to be elected for two years as a transitional president but stayed on a lot longer, while he was bestowed upon with legitimacy by Saudi Arabia whose own legitimacy is under question.
“Hadi’s legitimacy has been given by Saudi Arabia whose own legitimacy is questionable, because there is no elections in the country, no constitution and it is basically the Saud family that owns and controls the country. The fact that Mansour Hadi was forced to leave both the Capital Sana’a and Saada due to the quick advance of Ansarullah and their supporters shows he has no influence in the country. Both legally as well as when we look at the popular will of the country he has no place there,” the analyst explained.
ISIL Real Threat, Ansarullah Key to Security
Saudi Foreign Minister had claimed that the Ansarullah are trying to meddle in Yemen, reshuffle the cards, rob the Yemeni will, and make a coup against what it called a ‘constitutional legitimacy’. On the contrary, the Ansarullah came with peaceful solutions as they were in negotiations with the Saudis in an attempt to establish some sort of balanced relationship with them, explained Dr. Marandi, noting that “In Yemen the real threat, both to the country as well as to the international community, comes from al-Qaeda as well as extremist movements like Daesh or ISIL.”
The analyst further drew attention to the fact that “the major force that has been confronting these extremist Wahhabi movements are Ansarullah who are in battle as we speak now. In fact, the Houthis are key to security and stability in Yemen as well as being key to dealing with global terrorism that comes from Yemen. On the other hand I think it is important to keep in mind that even though Saudis have launched a war against Yemen and are killing people day and night, the Ansarullah have not yet retaliated.”
Iran to Support Yemen within International Law
Saudis, the Persian Gulf states and the US identify the Ansarullah as the urgency of ‘Iranian-backed Shiites’ in order to invigorate their influence in the region. But Iran has had little to do with the Houthis since their emergence as a political force in Yemen. Unlike Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, also a major player in the region differs in that its influence is constructive and does not stand on dictation, pressure, or exploitation. The real threat is not the Ansarullah, who roughly have ten million supporters in the Japan-sized country, but rather the terrorist extremist groups sweeping across the region fed by Wahabi thought that springs from the Saudi kingdom itself. Simultaneously the Saud kingdom along with its supporters forcefully try to place the Yemeni conflict in a sectarian paradigm which the US, Saudi Arabia and the Persian oil-rich countries exploit to put up their all-out support for the illegal invasion while Iranian calls for peace and diplomacy continue to fall on deaf ears.
On this note, Professor Marandi underlined that “Yemen does not have a history of sectarianism in any case but the Saudis depict it as sectarian and use these divisions to return to Yemen.”
On the other hand, he explained “How can Yemen be a proxy to Iran, there are no Iranians in the country, there is no evidence of Iranians there. The Saudis are insulting the Yemeni people saying they have no intelligence to run their own affairs and that the Ansarullah with at least ten million supporters are susceptible to foreign dictates.”
Geography lies at the heart of geopolitics, and in the case of the Saudi claims on Iranian meddling in Yemen as well as fostering and dictating Ansarullah, the variables are missing.
“Even though that country is very far away and has no physical presence in the country, the Saud family claims Iran is backing the Ansarullah, but it is Saudi Arabia that shares long borders with Yemen. Iran feels very confident Ansarullah are able to confront their problems but Iran, unlike Saudi Arabia will support the Yemeni people in accordance with international law,” the analyst highlighted.
Saudi Arabia’s Strategic Mistake: Unprecedented Humiliation
The Saudi Arabia stance, position and intervention is not novel, but this time they have committed a strategic mistake which is to cost them much. In repetition to a major mistake, they refuse to understand that the popular will of the people is the major drive behind their movement in an aim to demand their rights and have a sovereign state that is not dictated by foreign players.
“Saudi Arabia fails to recognize that the popular will in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen is opposed to both Saudi and oil-rich Arab regimes of Wahhabism and do not like this intervention in their country,” Professor Marandi told al-Ahed news, adding “Iran believes that the Saudis have already lost and that there humiliation would be unprecedented. In Lebanon, the “Israelis” who were a much stronger force than the Saudis were defeated by the Lebanese people who are much smaller in population than the people of Yemen, also the people of Gaza… Yemen is a huge country with a very old civilization of very tough people who have lived under harsh conditions for a very long time.”
Destroying Infrastructure to help Yemen?
Five days after the first Saudi Arabia beat the drums of war, the Saudi-led coalition did not target what they claim to be militants, but instead upsurged its offensive while locals fled the chaos and civilian casualties piled up, most of them women and children. Pontificating over a non-existent Iran-Saudi proxy war at play in the impoverished nation and under the claim of protecting the country and its government, the Saudis seemed practice what they have not been preaching, causing severe damage to the country and skyrocketing human casualties. And answering to the question on why Saudis launched the assault, the answer they give is too simplistic, as Saudi Arabia fears for its own influence in the region.
“The Saudis who claim Houthis constitute a threat are not attacking Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia claiming Ansarullah dangerous are actually not attacking them but rather the infrastructure, military and air force installations as well as civilian camps,” the analyst confirmed what the UN had reported on the Saudi assault on Yemen.
The United Nations’ humanitarian agency had reported 182 dead and hundreds more wounded just between last Wednesday and Sunday, and some 75,000 people displaced in the past week, many health facilities, social infrastructure, and residential areas damaged and shut down.
The largely forgotten Yemen that has plundered in poverty for decades is now caught in the cross-chairs of a Saudi unnecessary war to reclaim Saudi hegemony and not out of care to the peoples of the impoverished neighbor.
“If the Saudis really cared about the Yemeni people, they have been the overlords of Yemen for decades through which Yemen has been kept poor, so if the Saudis are concerned about the welfare of the Yemeni people they should have showed that concern during the previous decades but they never allowed them to join the Gulf Cooperation Council nor did they help or allow its economy to develop,” Dr. Marandi accentuated.
In reality what has happened in Iraq, Yemen and Syria is detrimental to the west because it is Iran, the people in those countries who are fighting Wahhabism and takfiri ideology coming from Saudi Arabia. Therefore they need the new political order in Yemen, they need Syria, Iraq and need the Iranians for global and regional stability.”
Iran Single Voice, US Multiple: Nuclear Talks
As for Iran’s nuclear program, Seyed Marandi emphasized that Iranians will not allow any issue to interfere with its negotiating position over the nuclear program.
Over the last few days Western media have been speaking about an imminent breakthrough in the nuclear talks, but that did not happen, Seyed Marandi explained, adding “The Iranian team believe this was part of psychological warfare to put pressure on the negotiating team so that if the talks do not reach the desired results they can blame Iran.”
Yes Iran has been flexible and easygoing during the past few years despite the mistrust that has been built by the West with only more sanctions imposed on the country rather than ease them up despite Iran’s willingness to cooperate and despite the fact that Iran, in its nuclear peaceful program functions within the framework of international law.
“I believe the Iranians have shown during the past few years that they are flexible and willing to negotiate, but Iranian sovereignty is something they cannot negotiate away,” professor Marandi emphasized, adding “Iran has two red key-lines that US must recognize; one is that Iran’s peaceful nuclear program cannot be limited to something less than international law, in other words Iran’s rights within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which Iran is signatory and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have to be recognized.”
Iran taking major steps in good-will to create trust and so the ball is actually in the field of the US to understand Iran’s rights.
“Iran may for a period of time slow down elements of its nuclear program or close parts of the program to create trust and bring about more favorable situation at the negotiation table, but everything from the Iranian perspective within a reasonable period of time has to go back to normal.”
As for the Iranian vs. the US stance inside the borders of each country, Seyed Marandi noted that without a doubt there is a single voice coming out from Tehran.
“Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran’s nuclear program has to be accepted within the framework of international law, President Rouhani has said the same thing; that Iran will not accept nuclear apartheid. Imam Khamenei also stressed that all sanctions should be removed as part of the deal and not after the deal or as a result of it, which President Rouhani also stressed.”
The problem, according to the analyst lies in the US. “Congressmen and Senators are speaking out against the US President, and Netanyahu seems to have more influence than the president in the Congress even among the Democrats, so while Iran speaks with a single voice it is the US and Europe speaking with multiple voices,” he concluded.
Source: al-Ahed news