Iran playing the Yemen card in negotiations with Europe

The headline “Iran blackmails Europe: Saving the nuclear deal in exchange of a truce in Yemen” of a piece published in Middle East Online, that publishes news and reports about the Middle East, and which discusses the ongoing talks between Europe and Iran regarding Yemen has attracted my attention.

In details, there are eager European attempts to have Iran make “concessions” on the Yemeni arena by pressuring its agent or “ally” the Houthi Movement so the European negotiator can “boast” in front of the White House’s stubborn master Donald Trump who put “impossible” conditions, as the Europeans see them, to amend or cancel the “malicious” agreement which former President Barack Obama and his European friends had sealed with Iran.

According to the aforementioned report, Iranian officials and European powers said the two parties made good progress in talks to end the ongoing conflict in Yemen as Tehran has voiced its willingness to exert pressure to reach a ceasefire and mitigate the humanitarian crisis there.

A prominent Iranian official said: “We agreed to work with Britain, France and Germany to end the conflict in Yemen due to the humanitarian disaster there.” Of course you must not at all be surprised by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ commanders’ and mullah’s compassion which has been bright in Syria and Iraq! Three European diplomats said: “The talks achieved great progress and are heading in the right direction.”

The Europeans have their own interests and calculations and Yemen to them and to Iran is a “playing card” but to Saudi Arabia and to the people in Yemen, before anyone else, it’s a matter of life or death.

Mashari Althaydi

Abbas Araghchi, a symbol of Iranian foreign policy, told the state television last Sunday: “The nuclear deal is not linked to regional affairs. Iran will not hold talks about its influence in the region unless it’s about Yemen.” He added that a meeting will be held between Iran and European powers in mid-June in Brussels to discuss the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

The picture is clear. Yemen, and not Syria or Iraq or Lebanon, is the “easiest card” which Iran can play or use to play the European party or rather gift to the Europeans so they present it on a silver plate to American President Donald Trump to please him and calm him down along with the Saudis and “some” Gulf and Arab figures, “and sufficient was Allah for the believers in battle” or in the tough American economic “blockade.”

This Iranian-European game comes as the Arab coalition in support of legitimacy of Yemen makes consecutive victories and as the Houthis suffer from relapses especially in the west coast and in the decisive battles in Hodeida.

The Houthis are the weakest now and halting this military momentum for the sake of a political negotiation trick that only benefits the Houthis and their Iranian sponsor is tantamount to chasing after the wind!

The Europeans have their own interests and calculations and Yemen to them and to Iran is a “playing card” but to Saudi Arabia and to the people in Yemen, before anyone else, it’s a matter of life or death.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi @MAlthaydy presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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