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  • ۱۳۹۹ شنبه ۲۵ بهمن

Iran and the war in Yemen

Jafar Ghannad Bashi

Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has always stated that it only provides Yemen with spiritual and political support, the visit of Martin Griffiths, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Tehran, and his consultations with Iranian officials on the ceasefire in Yemen, raised the question of how Tehran can help to end the Yemen war and create a political process in the country? 
As one of the founding members of the United Nations, and as a regional power in Western Asia, Iran has always been playing a determinative role in regional affairs. The special issue of Yemen can be considered from two aspects for Iran. On one side of the spectrum, Western governments, Saudi Arabia and their Arab allies accuse Iran of providing Yemenis with military support and equipment, claiming that the Iranians are to blame for the pressure and intensity of this war. On the other side, Yemen is one of the regional parties that has been attacked and, according to international law, has the right to defend itself in war. Hence, the issue of Yemen is the principled approach of Iran towards the oppressed nations, particularly in the regions which are being invaded by foreign powers.
Although Tehran has never been reluctant to provide humanitarian assistance to the oppressed Yemeni citizens, affording such aid has been impossible due to the criminal siege and sanctions against Yemen. As a result, there has been no way to improve the health and livelihood of the Yemeni people. (although, in the short term, humanitarian aid could be sent and Iran provided assistance to the Yemeni people.)
Despite all the claims about the Yemen war, neither the decision making nor the will to start and continue the war over the last six years ever took place in Riyadh. The decision on the Yemen war was made in London and Washington and the end of it also depends on the decision of these two western capitals. The best proof of this claim is that, after six years of continuous war, the only thing that has caused new whispers for the end of the war in Yemen has been the change of government in Washington. Up to now Washington has not allowed the war in Yemen to end but, today, the new US government has pressed the green light to end the war in Yemen, making it easier for the Saudis to pull out of this harmful war. 
Meanwhile, some parties still want to blame Iran for the war or, as the US President, Joe Biden, claimed in his speech last week, call Tehran “a troublemaker or a firebrand”. But such claims are lies. Iran was never one of the pillars of the war in Yemen because of the sanctions and sieges. Iran, even if it wanted to, could not help the Yemeni citizens defend themselves. The purpose of such allegations is to throw the ball of the end of the war into Iran’s court and accuse them of a war that the western countries, themselves, started and carried out.
Over the years, Iran has always been at the forefront of the news and public diplomacy, exposing crimes against the oppressed people of Yemen. Iran is not willing to interfere in the affairs of Yemen but it can still support the Yemeni people in the political arena. The reason being that the very end of the war can still provide an opportunity for various conspiracies by the enemies of the independent and national sovereignty of Yemen. Those who started the war in Yemen did not achieve their political wish by war. Hence, it is reasonable for them to chase up their benefits in this country through political negotiation, at least under the pretext of ending the war. 
It is obvious that the United Nations, during the time in office of the present General Secretary, Mr. Guterres, has failed to take any practical steps to improve the situation in Yemen, but it has repeatedly acknowledged the fact that the war in Yemen has caused a great humanitarian catastrophe. The United Nations believes that Iran will be one of the parties calling for an end to the war and the return of rights to the Yemeni people. Therefore, Iran can be the one that provides consultations to the Yemeni parties so that they can end this war with the best outcome.
Meanwhile, Riyadh has long called for an end to this gruesome and disgraceful war in Yemen. The longer the war lasts the more Saudi losses will increase exponentially. The continuation of the war has eroded Saudi Arabia’s power in the region and the Saudi armed forces have become more dissatisfied. More importantly, since Yemen and Saudi Arabia are geographically located next to each other, the effects of the crimes committed in this war against the Yemeni people will cause a deep rift between these two neighbouring nations in the future. 
Moreover, one of the concerns of Riyadh and its allies is that the end of the war, will strengthen Yemen’s Ansar-Allah. There is concern that the emergence of a strong and democratic government in Yemen will gain widespread support from the popular Yemeni resistance forces, which could lead to the rise of those who have defended Yemen’s territory against foreign aggression for the past six years. 
Finally, Western supporters of the Zionist regime and some regional governments consider the power of the resistance axis in the region to their detriment.  Hence, perhaps one of the purposes of the visit of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Tehran was to receive assurances from Tehran that, if the war in Yemen ends, the country will not become another pillar of the resistance in the region alongside Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance groups. In this case, the UN envoy may be seen as a representative of the US and Israel, who is attempting to ensure that Yemen will not become an active link in the axis of the resistance and to assess Iran’s post-war situation in regional equations.


The decision on the Yemen war was made in London and Washington and the end of it also depends on the decision of these two western capitals

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