Yemen to become Saudis’ Vietnam: ex-Iranian diplomat

September 24, 2019

TEHRAN – Hamid Reza Asefi, a former Iranian diplomat, has said Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen will go on and Yemen will become the Saudis’ Vietnam.

He was making a reference to the war on Vietnam that started in 1955 and lasted for 19 years.

One of Riyadh’s options is to concede defeat “but this would cost the Saudis dearly, given that they should then accept their political and military mistakes and I don’t see this in [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad] bin Salman’s small head,” Asefi said in an interview broadcast on TV on Monday night.

Some think that Saudi Arabia’s meddling in Yemen started only a few years ago but in fact it started almost 40 years ago and is as old as the Islamic Revolution, he argued.

Asefi, who served as Iran’s ambassador to France, the UAE, and Foreign Ministry spokesman, further said the Saudis attacked Yemen using weapons they received from the British, Americans and Germans.

“However, the Germans later realized the dimensions of their doings and stopped their arms support of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

On September 14, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and their allies in the Yemeni army deployed as many as 10 drones to bomb the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities run by the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco.

The unprecedented attack knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or five percent of global supply.

Saudi Arabia and its Western allies, including the U.S., have accused Iran of carrying out the attack. Tehran, however, has rejected any involvement.

Asefi said the Aramco incident badly dented Saudi Arabia’s prestige and the kingdom was disgraced in the eyes of its people as well.

On the possibility of an all-out war in the region, he said, “Saudi Arabia knows that it is not a [serious] challenger to us in an all-out war, and both Europeans and Americans also do not want an all-out war.”

“However, the Americans want controlled tensions for our region, so that they sell their weapons,” the former diplomat added.

Last week, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that a possible military strike against Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia will unleash an “all-out” war in the region.

He made the remarks in an interview with the CNN in Tehran on Thursday.

“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Zarif said, adding that a military response based on “deception” about the attacks on Saudi oil installations would cause “a lot of casualties.”

MH/PA

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