Saudi Arabia has expressed anger at Iran for urging a ceasefire in their ongoing war on Yemen.
The irony is that Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal is also marveling that Iran would dare to call for an end to the fighting! He claims, “We came to Yemen to help the legitimate authority. The Iranian government is not in charge of Yemen and thus has no say over whether or not the invasion continues.”
Be that as it may. But let’s not abandon facts and logic just yet:
1. Iran isn’t alone in urging the ceasefire. The Red Cross, European aid groups and human rights organizations plus China, Russia and Pakistan are all also urging humanitarian pauses as the war takes a growing toll on the civilian population. The United Nations too has maintained dialogue is the only solution to the crisis.
2. Faisal insists the Iranian government is not in charge of Yemen. Then how come they first claimed they launched the airstrikes to stop Iran’s influence in that country? Iran’s regional activities are understandable reactions to an assortment of conflicts in its neighbourhood that are not of its own making. Iran doesn’t wish to control any Arab capital.
3. The Saudis intend to reinstall former president Hadi, who resigned back in January but has since had a change of heart. Though Hadi was “elected” in a single-candidate vote, Riyadh is presenting him as the legitimate ruler. This is while Hadi is the one that called for the airstrikes in the first place. He is now the most hated man in Yemen and will never be allowed to return to his presidential palace when the war is over.
4. The Saudi-led coalition has blockaded Yemen from the air, sea and land. But still they demand Iran stop supporting the resistance group of Ansarullah! The warmongers offer no real evidence that such support is ongoing. Instead, they present the war as sectarian in nature to ensure the support of Sunni Arab allies.
5. The United States provided free tutorials in Afghanistan and Iraq on why occupying territory isn’t the road to influence and dominance. Saudi leaders ignored the advice. They even created ISIL that supposedly promises less trouble and harm to Riyadh than to its enemies in the region.
6. This costly and open-ended war was doomed from day one. Little wonder Pakistan decided to stay away. That’s not sitting well with the Saudis, who are loudly lashing Pakistan and threatening to impose “high costs” on Islamabad for its neutrality…
Considering the above, it is obvious that the war on Yemen will go terribly wrong. Helping the unjust in this foolish war is not the way forward. Under international law, destroying a nation to reinstall a puppet ruler is not an acceptable resolution to an internal dispute either.
The Saudis have shown they don’t mean well in this destroy and rule offensive. They have shown state terrorism thrives in their foreign policy, reflecting an ethos of violence that has flourished over the past decade. They owe this behavior to their American masters and it is not as though they were not warned of the inevitable blowback. History tells us that’s what lies ahead.