Iran’s uneasy sway over the region gradually slipping away

Mohammed Al Shaikh

Published: Updated:

Perhaps Iran has achieved some victories in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but I am certain that these gains will not last. I have no doubt that these said victories will inevitably turn into highly costly ventures for it. The annexation of these states by Iran is being rejected by their populations today, even if some rogue elements may applaud it.

The three occupied countries, cannot in the end give up their historical identities and culture, no matter how much they are controlled by Iran’s proxies and agents. The case of Yemen, which the Persian theocrats proudly boast of being the fourth Arab capital in their control, is somewhat different.

All indicators suggest that there are very few Houthi agents left relative to the population of Yemen and the strength of the army advancing from the south, which is gaining more victories on the ground with each passing day.

International legitimacy

This makes the prospect of Houthi survival in Sana'a very slim, especially as the Yemeni army has international legitimacy on its side, along with air support provided by the Alliance. Therefore, the balance of power is tilted in favor the legitimate army. Those who monitor developments are clearly aware that the assassination of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was a strategic blunder.

The Houthis have lost support of the people as well as of the General People’s Congress, the most critical centers of political power in Yemen. This fact gives the anti-Houthi front strong strategic advantage, which will facilitate the task of the legitimate forces heading towards Sanaa.

The Russian agenda in Syria is different from Iranian interests and aspirations. These differences will one day rise to the surface

Mohammed Al Shaikh

The other point is that if the history of Yemen is any indicator, anyone who tries to occupy Yemen will fail. The Ottomans failed, and when Nasser tried to occupy it as a gateway to the Kingdom and the Gulf States, he also failed miserably.

There have been many Egyptian historians who have studied his army’s failure in Yemen and the causes of its defeat by Israel in 1967. It is therefore plausible to infer that what Nasser faced, in spite of being an Arab leader, will be faced by the Persians as well — especially as Arab and Persian cultures are characterized by hostility and hatred, as is confirmed throughout the course of history.

Iran in the cross hairs

I am sure that the defeat of the Houthis in Yemen will not only be a defeat for Iran in Yemen, but also usher in defeats in the other three Arab capitals that the Persian mullahs claim to have conquered. Perhaps, Lebanon is the only Arab state, which has been completely obliterated by the Persian occupation for more than a decade. Iraq and Syria are very different from Lebanon.

The situation in Syria is controlled by the Russians, but the Russian agenda in Syria is different from Iranian interests and aspirations. These differences will one day rise to the surface, and of course Russian interests will prevail. In Iraq, if the Persian control over the decision-making would be greatly weakened.

The Iraqi government must take advantage of the world’s outrage against Iran, especially of President Trump’s stated intention to establish an international coalition to confront Iran’s hostilities in the region. Iran is now in the spotlight, and the international community cannot leave this aggressive clerical regime rocking the stability of this critical region forever.

The article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.

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