and have engaged in four rounds of talks over the last six months, the most recent of which with the hardliner Ebrahim Raisi already inaugurated as president. A fifth meeting is expected to take place before the end of 2021. The success of the negotiations will depend, to an important extent, on both countries being realistic about Iran’s role in the conflict.
How Date Farming Helps Yemenis on Soqotra
Until now, the negotiations have reportedly revolved around two main issues. The first is the restoration of diplomatic relations between both countries. Bilateral ties were cut off in 2016 whenexecuted Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a dissident who was a Shia cleric, and protesters in Tehran stormed the Embassy in retaliation. The second topic of discussion is the War, which entered a new phase with the 2015 -led intervention against rebels who had taken over the capital, Sanaa.
For more than one year, the problematic when oil prices fell as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns.have been looking for a way out of . The enormous economic costs of the conflict became more
Even after the recovery of the hydrocarbon market, the fact remains that six years of war have not brought conciliatory with than his predecessor, Donald Trump.any closer to its two major goals in : reestablishing Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as president and constraining the ’ influence. Furthermore, US President Joe Biden, while not as tough on the kingdom as promised in his election campaign, has been less
Who Are the Houthis?
The position is that the movement only receives ideological support from Tehran. Both narratives are inaccurate, to say the least.often present the as little more than puppets. Iran’s official
The resisted the government’s military offensives from 2004 to 2010 without any external assistance. Hussein al- , the movement’s early leader and from whom its name is derived, was an admirer of the 1979 Revolution and was influenced by its symbolism and ideology. His brother and current leader of the movement, Abdel-Malek al- , has also expressed his admiration for the Islamic Republic.are a homegrown movement that successfully
The first credible reports of military support for the date back to 2013. Until 2016, weapons transfers were largely restricted to light arsenal. In the following years, Tehran started to supply the with increasingly sophisticated missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) components. Furthermore, a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the ground has been training fighters. The movement’s capacity to target key strategical interests within , such as oil extraction facilities, pipelines and airports, cannot be understood without accounting for Iran’s role in the conflict.
At the same time, and contrary toclaims, the are largely independent from . Their territorial expansion in 2014 was politically built on its Faustian bargain with the former president and arch-rival, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the unpopularity of the Hadi government, which was backed by .
Moreover, most of the black market — which is well-connected to the Horn of Africa’s smuggling routes — captured in battle or as a result of the defection of governmental military units to the . Before the war began, was already a country awash with small weaponry, coming only second to the US in terms of weapons per capita.’ current arsenal has not been sourced from . It has rather been acquired in the local
According to the officialnarrative, the necessitate help to maintain their military effort. While this is most likely the case when it comes to the group’s capability to strike targets within territory, an abrupt end of military assistance to the would make little difference in Yemen’s internal balance of power.
What Saudi Arabia and Iran Need to Do
needs to come to terms with the fact that its attempt to impose a military solution in has failed. It has done so because of counterproductive airstrikes, support for unpopular local actors and a misunderstanding of internal dynamics. If has become Arabia’s quagmire, this has little to do with Iran’s limited support for the .
, for its part, should understand that its claims of non-interference in the War have gained a farcical nature over the years, as growing evidence has piled up on – ties. leaders cannot impose on the an end to attacks against territory. However, they can decisively constrain them by stopping the flow of UAV and missile technology to the , as well as ending their military training on the ground. In conjunction with this, can support the direct – talks that began in late 2019.
For– negotiations to bear fruits in relation to the conflict, both sides need to show a realistic appraisal of Iran’s role in the war. It comes down to acknowledging two key facts. On the one hand, has leverage over the because of its military support for the group. On the other hand, this leverage is inherently limited and cannot be used to grant a military victory in .
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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