Saudis will face crushing response: Iranian commander
The commander of Iranian Army’s Ground Forces has warned Saudi Arabia of facing a crushing response from inside Yemen if the ongoing aggression against the Arab country continues.
“The Saudi Arabian army has no war experience and is very fragile and if it is confronted with a war of attrition, it should await crushing blows and it will suffer heavy defeat,” Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said Sunday in an interview with Arabic-language news channel al-Alam.
The Iranian commander further recommended the Saudi government to stop what he called “fratricide,” adding that Saudis’ past experiences in Yemen have proven that they will have no easy job winning the war on the impoverished country.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen started on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and to undermine the popular Ansarullah Houthi revolutionaries.
Pourdastan highlighted the boosted morale of the Yemeni people in the face of the ongoing aggression against their country, saying Saudi airstrikes against Yemen have created more “unity and solidarity” among the Yemeni people.
“Such solidarity paves the ground for huge blows to Saudi Arabia and through such solidarity they managed to defeat most of forces loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and took control of Yemen,” he said, adding that if Saudi cities are targeted by the Yemenis, Riyadh will have serious difficulty dealing with it.
Pourdastan rejected some claims that Iran is part of the crisis in Yemen or accusations that Tehran is sending weapons to the Yemenis, saying, those making such claims themselves know the unreal nature of such accusations as they are monitoring the roads and the seas constantly.
He said Iran’s sole concern for Yemen is to send humanitarian aid to the people in order to “reduce part of their suffering.”
According to reports, over 2,600 people, including women and children, have so far lost their lives in the attacks.
Iran not willing to confront Saudis
He also touched upon an ongoing mission by an Iranian fleet near Yemen’s southern coasts, saying that the fleet’s presence in the area was planned before the Saudi aggression on Yemen started. He said the fleet is on a mission to protect Iranian ships against the potential terrorist threats in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
The high-profile Iranian commander further said that Iran is not interested in getting involved in a confrontation with Riyadh, describing Saudi Arabia as a friend of Iran and an ally.
“Saudi Arabia’s military attaché is currently in our country and we invited him to attend a (ceremony) on the Army Day. We want to have ties with Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Elsewhere in his comments, Pourdastan highlighted the role of the United States in supporting terrorist groups like the ISIL, saying that the war waged by ISIL, the al-Nusra Front, and Boko Haram in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria are all proxy battles waged in favor of the US and Israel.
Since the very beginning of ISIL’s advances in western and northern Iraq, Iranian army defined a 40-kilometer red zone into the Iraqi territory to warn the terrorists of any potential move towards the Iranian borders, he said.
Meanwhile, the Iranian commander also referred to a recent decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to lift a long-existing ban on delivering the advanced S-300 air defense system to Tehran, saying that the development should be viewed as a “step forward” in promoting the defense capabilities of Islamic Republic.