0143 GMT December 08, 2019
What's your analysis of Saudi Arabia's military operation in Yemen? Do you think it will continue the aggression?
Saudi Arabia's military action against Yemen runs counter to international law and has put many countries in trouble. People from some members of the Saudi-led military collation are and have been against attacking Yemen. For instance, the Egyptians, Sudanese and Pakistanis are opposed to the military campaign. If an impartial polling institute conducts an opinion poll in Persian Gulf countries about the Saudi-led invasion, a high percentage of respondents will express their opposition to it. Naturally, the Iranian people are strongly opposed to use of force and the military assault against another country and regard it as a violation of the principals of good neighborliness and international law.
Saudi Arabia might have been encouraged by Western countries, especially the United States to attack Yemen. Moreover, a number of Saudi princes who lack enough experience to deal with regional and international crises have come to power. Saudi Arabia is not only wasting its money by purchasing weapons to support its attack on Yemen, but is causing Yemenis to nurse grudge against it.
Therefore, Saudi Arabia has no way to end its war on Yemen and pave the way for sending humanitarian aide to the poor country. It should also stop supporting one individual or faction against the will of the majority of Yemenis. If Riyadh takes this approach, then Tehran will have no problem with it.
How do you see the future of Saudi Arabia especially with regards to prodemocracy protests there?
In Saudi Arabia, there are growing disagreements among members of the royal family. Intellectuals and liberals are at odds with the system and there are sectarian divisions among followers of various Islamic sects. Therefore, one of the reasons for Saudi Arabia's invasion of Yemen seems to be covering up such internal conflicts in an effort to bring all groups together against the threat of Yemen.
Some analysts believe Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has failed to make remarkable changes in the ministry's policies on the Middle East. What's your take on this?
The Foreign Ministry cannot perform a miracle given the fact that the widespread and extensive developments have unfolded in the region. The ministry has qualified staff who know how to improve relations with regional countries. But the scale of developments in the region is so extensive that needs extra efforts to be handled.
Can Iran take practical measures to bring peace to Yemen?
For sure with more serious diplomatic measures this can be possible. During a recent trip by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran the issue was discussed and Foreign Minister Zarif visited Pakistan and Oman to look for a solution to the Yemen conflict. Oman has already announced its stance. Certainly, the United Arab Emirates is not willing to see the situation in the region is getting more complicated. Qatar and Kuwait also can act beyond the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. Therefore, there are still opportunities to stop violence and bloodshed but they need to be coordinated and timely seized in order to overcome those who beat the drums of war in the region.