There can be no solution to the war in Yemen unless the Houthis agree to give up their weapons.
I do not think one can find a single Saudi who would accept Houthis (Iran’s agents in Yemen) to keep their armaments, particularly their medium and heavy weapons. If these weapons continue to be in Yemen, it would mean that Iran will form proxy religious parties, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.
With such proxies, Iran will remain a threat to Saudi national security, and shall wait for an opportunity to export terrorism into the country. Any solution, dialogue or reconciliation between the conflicting parties in Yemen must first start with the Iran-backed Houthis giving up their weapons. If not, the conflict should not be brought to a close.
Rafik al-Hariri’s capitulation
Rafik al-Hariri’s lenience in the Taif conference over Hezbollah’s weapons, under the pretext that the weapons provided a means for resistance, ruined Lebanese state and caused its people to suffer a great deal. With these weapons, Hezbollah became the dominant party in Lebanon and started exercise great power. The Lebanese president, along with the prime minister and parliamentary speaker now operate as pawns of Hassan Nasrallah, who in turn passes on orders he receives from Tehran. I am certain that Iranians want to replicate their experiment in Lebanon now in Saudi Arabia’s southern areas on the border with Yemen.
It is possible that Iran is weaker today than it was when it created Hezbollah in the early 1980s. Nevertheless, it has an agent in Hamad bin Khalifa of Qatar who will have no problem in opening doors for Houthis, as he harbors a lot of hatred against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Following the collapse of the planned Arab revolution and the boycott imposed by four of the strongest Arab powers, Hamad has lost his mind and has been looking for any opportunity to retaliate against those who caused the failure of his crazy revolutionary project. Americans had to isolate him in the region after learning that his support for political Islam will always end with terrorism, which is fought by the entire world.
Any solution, dialogue or reconciliation between the conflicting parties in Yemen must first start with the Iran-backed Houthis giving up their weaponsMoahmmed Al Shaikh
Qatar only has financial wealth and the media at its disposal. I do not think it can support the Houthis, especially after the boycotting countries have drained a lot of its resources. The imminent fall of Hodeida will also make it very difficult for Qatar’s financial support to reach Houthis. This would mean that the Houthis will reach a point where they have to take part in negotiations by force and not by choice. From this point on, all efforts must be directed towards putting restrictions on them and pressuring them to surrender their weapons to the Yemeni national army, no matter what the pressure may be. It is my assessment that the Saudi leadership and people will never accept anything less, even if the war in Yemen continues for a hundred years.
In the early 1990s, Rafik Hariri was working very hard to become prime minister. In principle, the Syrians rejected his ambitions, unless he agreed to allow Hezbollah to keep its weapons. When he agreed to this, Iran occupied Lebanon and so we must be very careful not to repeat the same mistake.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.