Oct 20, 2019, 4:49 PM
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Yemen's war a great barrier between Tehran, Riyadh

Tehran, Oct 20, IRNA - Yemen's war is one of the most serious obstacles bridging the gap between Iran and Saudi Arabia as the Saudis will not be able to maintain stability and peace in the region without resolving Yemen's crisis, an expert on Middle East Affairs Hossein Ajorlu said on Sunday.

In his meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 13, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has proposed a four-article plan for finishing the war on Yemen since a long time ago.  The end of this war can have positive effects on the region."

The blueprint for Yemen consists of four phases: a cease-fire, and immediate halt in foreign military aggression, sending humanitarian aid as soon as possible, Yemenis-Yemenis dialogue and the formation of an inclusive government in Yemen.

The Islamic Republic of Iran stresses that the Yemeni war has no military solution and the only way to bring about peace and stability is to create conditions where all Yemeni parties can form their own inclusive national unity government without foreign intervention. To reach this goal, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes it will be necessary that all efforts, in particular the United Nations, are made within the framework of the provisions of the United Nations Charter and the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and the cooperation of regional countries in ending the Yemen war.

Hossein Ajorlu, a Middle East expert said in an interview with IRNA on Sunday. 

One of the serious obstacles to restoring relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is Yemen's war," Ajarlu said at the beginning of the interview. There has been a serious challenge in the region since the beginning of the war in 2015. The Saudis accuse Iran of supporting Ansarullah, and Iran does not deny that support. Of course, the Saudis accuse Iran of interfering with the supply of weapons to Yemen and the military empowerment of Ansarullah to attack Saudi facilities, which is not accepted by our country's authorities and we do not want any tension in the region. All discussions have led the Saudis to a deadlock and seek talks to resolve the tension with Iran.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently traveled to Tehran to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and there are signals from the Saudis to ease tensions in the region. Developments in the Middle East are moving to reduce tensions between the two countries, as the continuing crisis and tension in the region is not in the interest of the Saudis. Saudi Arabia's disappointment with the US in recent developments in the region has also had a major impact on changing Saudi positions. The Supreme Leader also confirmed during a meeting with the Pakistani prime minister that Iran does not seek any war in the region and wants stability and peace.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have considerations to enter into negotiations on the Yemeni war, the Middle East expert said. Iran can help the Saudis to end Yemen's war, but the Yemenis themselves are the key to resolving the crisis, but the Saudis are unwilling to accept Iranian's role-playing in the region and are seeking a plan to negotiate without bringing Yemen's war under the focus.

The supreme leader's remarks on the Yemeni war stipulate that in line with the Yemeni people's expediency the war must be ended because the Yemenis were not the initiators of the war and that the blood of many innocent sheds in this war. These issues must be resolved. In fact, until these issues are resolved, we cannot be optimistic about normalizing Iran-Saudi relations, and this is a message to Saudi Arabia that we cannot enter into further discussions without resolving the Yemen war, that is, we cannot make peace, but the Saudis continue their aggression.

Given the circumstances, it is difficult for the Saudis to accept Iran and its regional allies as an active player in the Arabian Peninsula, or the Riyadh government will be willing to achieve a comprehensive peace with Ansarollah, according to Ajorlu. At the heart of the matter is that Saudi Arabia is facing a tough choice in the current situation; on the one hand, there is a major security debate on the one hand, and on the other, accepting Iran's role in its southern borders, which backs Ansarollah.

The attack on the Aramco oil facilities certainly has been effective in changing the Saudis' viewpoint, Ajorlu said. Four years ago, Saudi Arabia entered into a war based on the idea that it would make some changes and ensure security on its southern borders, but after years of failing to achieve its goal, the crisis was dragged into Saudi Arabia, creating internal insecurity and, most importantly, making the Saudi economy vulnerable.

The Saudis believed continued war in Yemen could help them dominate the country, but now they are in a position of balance of power with the Yemenis, and that balance may shape the future of regional equations otherwise Saudi Arabia should accept the regional power of other countries. In the current situation, Saudi Arabia does not seek to resolve the issue with Iran, but seeks to control the level of tension in the region in some way, but the tension remains. The Riyadh's government must accept the end of the Yemeni war if it moves toward resolving tensions in the region. If this continues, Saudi Arabia's costs will rise and it will not be able to control the situation. The Saudis may be looking to put an end to the Yemeni war, but they are not sure and will have to wait for the future.

According to the expert, Saudis are unwilling to accept any defeat in ending Yemen's war and are looking to buy time to pursue their goals by reducing the level of tensions in Tehran-Riyadh relations, but resolving Iran-Saudi problems can have an impact on the goals and policies of the Saudis. The Yemeni people want the war to be replaced by peace and stability, but given the current situation, the Saudis are not keen on ending the war. The Saudis continue the war until they achieve their desired goals in Yemen, although they seek to reduce the level of tension.

There is serious concern for the Saudis at ending this war, and it is an entity that is forming on the southern border of Saudi Arabia that can create a challenge at any moment. UAE's stance on this war is different from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has a more tangible threat because of bordering with Yemen, but the UAE does not see much of a threat due to its geographical distance. The Saudis must come to the conclusion of the UAE and put an end to this war, which is referred to as Yemen's swamp as soon as possible.

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