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Saudi Arabia in Existential Crisis of Own Making

“Everyone can see that it is Saudi Arabia and the coalition it is leading that have put Yemen on the brink of collapse, disintegration, hunger, contagious diseases, large-scale killing and a silent death”
Saudi Arabia in Existential Crisis of Own MakingSaudi Arabia in Existential Crisis of Own Making

Saudi Arabia has exposed itself to an existential crisis by repeatedly pursuing “abortive policies” on a regional level, says the Iranian government’s point man on the Middle East.

In a recent interview with Press TV, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, senior assistant to the Iranian foreign minister on special political affairs, said Saudi Arabia is following policies that undermine its own interests.

“With its abortive ... policies and incomprehension of the deep transformations that have taken place around it over the past several decades, Saudi Arabia has exposed itself to back-to-back crises and serious attrition, which has gobbled up its entire economy, polity and existence,” Ansari said.

“More than anyone else, Saudi Arabia itself is to suffer a loss as a result of these abortive policies, because it has entangled itself in a quagmire and a debilitating confrontation at the regional level, especially in Yemen [where] it has become consumed by its rhetoric.”

> Bottomless Chasm

Leading a coalition of allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall a former lackey that had fled amid widespread discontent. Saudi Arabia also sought to eliminate the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which took over state matters to prevent the country from descending into chaos. The Saudi-led coalition has fully blockaded Yemen.

More than three and a half years into that war, Saudi Arabia has achieved none of its objectives. This is while it had declared at the start of the invasion that the war would take no more than a couple of weeks.

Ansari said the war “has turned into a bottomless chasm for Saudi Arabia”. 

Not only has it not removed Saudi Arabia’s purported security concerns, but Yemen has bogged down Riyadh, he added.

The Iranian official said Saudi Arabia considers Yemen its “historical backyard” and an extension of the Arabian Peninsula and claims that Iran has entered into that backyard to harm Saudi interests.

“That is Saudi Arabia's rhetoric. In the real world, regardless of what Iran's policy is … the more Saudi Arabia has gone down that path, the more it has pushed the Yemeni nation away from itself.”

He said Riyadh is “injecting a hatred of itself” into Yemeni society. That hatred, he said, is “quietly” spreading even among Yemeni politicians who are seemingly on the Saudi side.

“Everyone can see that it is Saudi Arabia and the coalition it is leading that have put Yemen on the brink of collapse, disintegration, hunger, contagious diseases, large-scale killing and a silent death.”

The Saudi war has killed an estimated 14,000 people so far. Thousands of others have been wounded and millions have been displaced. Famine and epidemics of diseases plague the country.

Ansari said the Saudi-led coalition is following “an intentional military policy” of targeting “each and everyone, indiscriminately, to tire the nation out”.

> Deadlocked War 

Iran and Europe have been involved in negotiations to form a framework for resolving the crisis in Yemen, Iran’s chief regional negotiator said.

“The war has deadlocked, in terms of the realities in Yemen, the region and the world,” he said. “Neither side is capable of achieving military victory over the other.”

Ansari said Europeans agree with Iran that the Yemeni crisis has no military solution and that a full deadlock is in place, and the Iranian-European talks are aimed at ending that stalemate.

Apart from the stalemate, he said, there are security risks to the world.

With the prolongation of the war, the security of international waterways would be endangered and terrorist groups would thrive—with real consequences for the region that would also extend to the whole world, he said.

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