Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohammad Hassan Khani, a professor at Imam Sadiq University in Tehran, about the Saudi foreign minister’s allegation of Tehran’s interference in Yemen, which the pundit has dismissed a propaganda campaign.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: First of all, throughout the onset of Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen, it has basically put forward this viewpoint that it has been the reason of Iran’s meddling that has made Saudi Arabia act the way it has. How do you respond to that?
Khani: Well it is a really funny story now, it is becoming a funny story because the irony of the issue is that it is the Saudis airplanes who have been roaring throughout the skies of Yemeni territory for more than a month, and they are claiming and they are blaming Iran for interfering in the affairs of the Yemenis.
So technically they waged a war and they are somehow in violation of international law and also, I mean the fact of the problem is that Iran has been saying for several times that Iranian position and Iranian policy toward this issue has been and remains to be upon two basic, two fundamental principles.
The first one is that the domestic problems, domestic issues should be solved by different political factions and that also includes Yemenis crisis. So what Iran is saying is that asking the different parties to come to the negotiation table trying to sort out the problems.
The other issue or the other principle of the Iranian position has been that there is no room for violent action or resorting to war in solving any regional problem. So if there is a rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, this is basically a political one and it should be solved throughout negotiations and engagements rather than waging war.
Press TV: Professor Hassan Khani, even the US has admitted that the Ansarullah movement operates independently and not based on orders from Iran or any other country in the world. However, at the same time we have Saudi Arabia which used to support and even control as many say, the Yemeni ex-dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh and even Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi when he came to power.
So why is this perception being pushed upon the people’s minds that it is Iran that it is interfering and not Saudi Arabia?
Khani: This is a psychological war. This is a total propaganda against Iran. Everybody knows, even the western analysts who are somehow neutral and they are fair in their judgment, they say and they are saying again and again that Ansarullah is not a proxy of Iran. They are a very powerful political faction in Yemen and they have been deprived from their right.
Saudi Arabia wants to go back to the old balance of power in Yemen and also in the region which is not possible in my view. So that is why they are repeating those allegations against Iran saying that okay, if Ansarullah is still resisting against Saudi aggression, this is because Iran is behind them but everybody knows that at least in the past month or so, which the war has began, there has been no direct contacts between Tehran and Sana’a or Aden.
Iran also just tried to send some humanitarian aid but they did not allow the Iranian airplane to land. So in that sense, it is just in my view merely propaganda and psychological war to somehow justify Saudis failure to reach their goals after so many days of air campaign against Yemen.