Dr. Majid Rafizadeh of the International American Council declares himself surprised by what he takes to be a change in Iran’s tone on Yemen. His analysis of their motivations is fairly solid, however. He notes, as IranTruth has also reported, that the proxy wars that Iran has been fighting have increased in scale to the point that they are now facing significant pressures on their resources. Its Quds Force, which focuses on the unconventional warfare operations involving these proxies, is stretched by deployments to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and possibly Yemen — it is a matter of record that they are supporting the Houthis, though reports differ on whether this is happening inside or outside of Yemen.
Iran is poised to receive a rescue from the dire straits into which its ambitions have put it on two fronts. First, the Iran deal would result in the release of many billions of dollars that the government can deploy to its wars. Second, the arrival of Russian forces in Syria will provide it with significant reinforcements towards its agenda of protecting the Assad regime. This is excellent news from the perspective of Iran. The Russian contribution to the fight will greatly increase the odds of the Assad regime’s survival. Even now our spineless Secretary of State, John F. Kerry, has begun to waver on whether the United States will continue to insist on his removal. For now, officially Assad might stay for a “managed transition.” That is a significant slide by the American State Department, and it is likely to slide further.
Even so, it would be nice for Iran if it could consolidate its efforts without surrendering anything. It is that model driving its new diplomacy on Yemen. As Dr. Rafizadeh puts it:
Iran will benefit economically if it changes its foreign policies. But the underlying issue is that Tehran is so deeply entrenched in the well-established and instituted ideological, sectarian (Sunni vs Shia), and ethnic (Persians vs Arabs) norms that it is impossible for the government and Iranian leaders to change the character of the state….
In closing, from the Iranian leaders’ perspective, a new rhetoric, tactical shift and different choice of words on Yemen might assist them in their attempt to save billions of dollars while simultaneously maintaining Tehran’s proxy. As a result Iran could become more empowered in Yemen, and give Tehran a victory in Yemen, all while leaving Iran’s underlying foreign policy objectives, ideological principles and regional hegemonic ambitions intact.
There is an obvious literary parallel in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. In that work, at a time when Sauron the Dark Lord still believes in his power and does not understand the threat he faces from the secret mission to destroy the Ring, he faces an incursion by a small army to the gates of Mordor. He dispatches an ambassador to offer terms of surrender that are exactly what he is even then preparing a war to achieve. The wizard Gandalf rightly recognizes that all that is on offer is that everything should be surrendered that Mordor hopes to capture through war. It is too much to ask, Gandalf says, “that your Master should receive in exchange what he must else fight many a war to gain!”
By the same token, Iran’s diplomatic moves are designed to enshrine the Houthis in power in Yemen, and to get the Saudi-led coalition to cease its operations against them while a “peace process” should ensue involving the United Nations. Iran has reason to believe that such a process would go on for decades and never lead to substantive change, especially with Russia’s veto on the UN Security Council. That Russia is on Iran’s side in Yemen, as they are also partnered in Syria, is made clear by the fact that Russian propaganda is being deployed to support the Iranian argument.
As America still pretends to shine freedom’s torch, its military doctrine has helped rationalize neo-imperialism the world over. Washington’s war rhetoric has now turned its allies into little hegemons – Meet Washington’s war child: Riyadh!
Looking at Saudi Arabia’s ongoing acts of genocide against Yemen it has become rather evident that the United Nations and the principles its institutions sit on have become not only obsolete but completely irrelevant. When the deaths of thousands of civilians can no longer prompt world leaders to express disgust; for money whitewashes all crimes, what hope is there for justice?
Here the suggestion is that Saudi Arabia is fighting this war for American ends, rather than out of the obvious self-interest it has in the conflict with a neighboring nation. The Great Satan is behind this conflict too, and the United Nations is held up for humiliation because it does not get involved and try to settle it. That, of course, is just what Iran wants the United Nations to do — just what their diplomacy is offering to help achieve. In exchange for the UN accepting their offer to help, they would receive what else they must fight a war to obtain.