S. Arabia, UAE military aggression root cause of Yemen’s afflictions

IRNA – A senior Iranian expert on international relations said on Wednesday that Military aggression of the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the major cause of Yemen’s current crisis and afflictions.

“The coalition between Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi’s [Ansarallah forces] was artificial,” said Hossein Mousvian, former Iranian diplomat and present visiting research scholar at Princeton University, US.

He made the remarks in an interview with China National TV’s Global Network also attended by other analysts including Afshin Moulavi from Johns Hopkins University, while commenting on the impacts of the death of the Yemeni president on the peace process in Yemen.

Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on December 4 in clashes with the country’s popular forces.

“Saleh used to play a double role, as on the one hand, he has forged an artificial alliance with the Houthi’s and on the other hand, he held talks with the Saudis and the Emiratis confidentially and behind the scene,” Mousavian said.

He added that Saleh’s death will contribute to Yemen peace process as his double acting has prompted Saudis and the Emiratis to count on him, never being ready for serious negotiations with Houthi’s (Ansarallah forces).

“Now time is ripe for the Saudis to talk with Houthi’s following the demise of Saleh,” Mousavian said, urging the UN to step forward strongly and lead Yemen peace talks involving Houti’s and all Yemeni groups.

“In the first stage, ceasefire should be declared, prompting all sides to stop war. Afterwards, a government involving all tribes and political currents should be elected through a free election, bringing an end to the calamity in the poorest Arab country,” Mousavian suggested.

Asked about Iran’s role in establishing peace in Yemen, the former diplomat said that many exaggerations have been made about Iran’s role, as Saudi Arabia and the UAE have formed the most powerful coalition of the Arab world army and have been pounding the country and Houthi’s round the clock for two years.

“Everyone accepts that Iran is not engaged in the war directly,” Mousavian said.

He further noted that reaching a final agreement in Yemen was so likely a few months ago but it was the Saudi Arabia that halted the process.

“The US with its strong army has also been extending full support to the Saudi-led alliance,” he added.

“If those who claimed are really confident that Iran, through its indirect presence, has defeated the most powerful army in the world (US) and the strongest alliance of the Arab world’s armies in Yemen, then I suggest them to immediately rush to Tehran and talk with Iran for peace,” Mousavian said.

He added that Iran has always been ready for talks with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to resolve the crisis in Yemen and restore peace and stability in that country.

“This is the Saudi Arabia that has to decide whether it wants to talks with Iran or not,” concluded the analyst.