The proxy-war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen has reached a war of words as Saudi has been accused of being a traitor by one of the most powerful military men in Iran, the leader of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). The Fars News Agency reported that IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari last week called for officials in his country to take a stronger stand on Saudi Arabia in light of the latter’s increasingly anti-Iran position.
Jafari went so far as to accuse the Saudis of following “in the footsteps” of Israel, Iran’s arch enemy, and declared that the Saudi leadership “is exposed to collapse and demise.” Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of nations attempting to defeat the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which in turn are backed by Iran.
Jafari’s stern position is noteworthy due to his influence in Iran, where the IRGC is one of the most powerful institutions. Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been quiet opponents, but the Arab Spring revolutions have turned into a regional contest between the two nations as they back different sides in various fights.
Iran has been critiqued by the US for backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen and are suspected of trying to provide them weapons. Jafari’s comments come after PressTV reported that an Iranian plane heading for Yemen was intercepted by Saudi jets, refusing the Iranians entry into Yemen. PressTV reported a senior Iranian official warned they would respond to the Saudi move, claiming the Iranian plane had humanitarian aid aboard.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 27, 2015)