Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Beware of Yemen! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh left his country on a medical evacuation plane, wounded and lying on his potential deathbed; he returned to Sanaa safe and well, however it is Yemen today that is suffering and which has not received any emergency treatment, in the same manner that Saleh and his associates did. This is the true crisis.

The situation in Yemen is no joke, for there are the tribes – of all types and forms, and their accompanying problems – as well as the Huthi rebels, and those who are behind them, namely Iran and other parties like the al-Assad regime in Syria. In addition to this, there is also Al Qaeda – and who truly know anything about Al Qaeda – which has been exposed – beyond a reasonable doubt – as an ally to Iran across the globe. More than this, every individual in Yemen possesses a weapon that he is ready to use, and this is the true problem, and the source of our fear, for each scenario for the future of Yemen is more frightening than the next.

Everybody is aware that President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return to Yemen is unwelcome, even if millions of people came out to greet him. For in reality these millions are only thousands on the ground; this is nothing more than counterfeit power. The reality is that Yemen is on the brink of civil war, and everybody will pay for this; the people of Yemen, as well as the rest of the world. Therefore now is not the time to turn a blind eye [to Yemen], rather it is the time for wisdom, prudence, and standing together. Saleh must be told that the time has come for him to step down from power, and this must come from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, before the West. What is required is action, not words.

It is true that the Saudis faced a moral predicament when the Yemeni president was receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, but with his return to Yemen the situation has changed. There is no time or space for [political] maneuvers, for if the security situation in Yemen explodes, then not only will the people of Yemen pay the price for this, but so will everybody else, and anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong. The danger in the worsening situation in Yemen is that it may become a springboard for Iran to destabilize the security of the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia. Tehran possesses agents in place across the Gulf, from the Huthi rebels to Al Qaeda…that’s right, Al Qaeda. This is something that Iran excels at, particularly as there are some in our region who are naïve and who believe that the mullahs in Tehran respect morals and politics.

Therefore, Ali Abdullah Saleh must be told that the time has come for him to step down from power, and that Yemen is more important than individuals, political tendencies, or love of power. If not, everybody will pay a high price for this, particularly Saudi Arabia, which will pay a grievous price. Yemen is not independent from Saudi Arabian affairs, and it will become a platform for targeting and extorting Riyadh, in every area, and every point of negotiation in the region. Saudi Arabia has seen how the Iranians presumed to take action in Bahrain, after they transgressed all bounds in Lebanon. This is the reality of the situation, even if the democratic lie in Manama was able to deceive a figure like US President Barack Obama.

Therefore, Tehran will not hesitate to exploit the crisis situation in Yemen, particularly as this situation is set to worsen, whether as a result of the action of the Huthi rebels or Al Qaeda, who are both using all of their resources to pounce on Yemen and across Saudi Arabia’s southern border. Therefore it is too dangerous to leave Yemen in the hands of the returning Saleh, or other students of power, and it is up to the Gulf States, and particularly Saudi Arabia, to take action to end the power struggle in Sanaa. We can therefore only saw, beware of Yemen!