Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Saudi-Iran détente puts Yemen between optimism, realism

Monday 27/March/2023 - 04:43 PM
The Reference
Noura Bendari

Since the signing of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran on March 10, 2023, which provided for the restoration of relations between the two countries under Chinese auspices, after a break that lasted for seven years, everybody has been trying to find out the impact of this agreement on a number of regional crises.

The Yemeni crisis comes on top of these crises. Some people downplay the impact of the agreement on the crisis.

Some people, on the other hand, welcomed with optimism the resumption of relations between the two regional countries, expecting it to have a significant impact on the Yemeni crisis, which has already entered its ninth year.

Yemeni reactions

The legitimate Yemeni government commented on the agreement by expressing hope that it would contribute to changing what it called Tehran's 'subversive policies'.

The Yemeni government also stressed that it believes in resolving differences through diplomatic and peaceful means based on the principle of non-interference in the affairs of other countries.

For its part, the Southern Transitional Council welcomed the agreement, expressing hope that it would contribute to the consolidation of security and stability in the region and the world.

On the other hand, the first response of the Houthi militia came from its official spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam, who said the region needs the return of relations between countries in order for the Islamic nation to regain its lost security as a result of foreign interference that exploited regional differences and took the Iranian scarecrow to provoke conflicts and aggression on Yemen.

Houthi activist Adel al-Hasani considered the agreement a step on the right path to peace.

However, some Houthi officials were keen to note that Yemen's decision remains in its own hands, not in Iranian hands.

From these reactions, one can easily note that the Yemeni crisis needs the concerted efforts of all the countries to reach a political settlement and save its people who suffer from poverty, hunger and disease due to the deterioration of the country's economic and living conditions.

Limited impact

On the extent of the impact of the agreement on Yemen, Yemeni political analyst Mahmud al-Taher referred to international optimism to establish peace in Yemen and convince the Houthis to enter into negotiations to end the war.

"Nonetheless, this optimism is unrealistic, because Iran has only pledged to prevent attacks on Saudi Arabia, which in itself confirms that it is behind the previous attack on the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia," he told The Reference.

Al-Taher pointed out that given the timing of the formation of the Arab coalition in March 2015, the nature of Saudi-Iranian relations at that time, and the Iranian regime's support for the Houthi militia, the new rapprochement cannot be a magic wand to push the Houthis to comply with international resolutions and hand over the state.