"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
Image Not found for user
User Name: International_Professor
Full Name: International Professor
User since: 22/Jan/2008
No Of voices: 353
 Views: 2205   
 Replies: 0   
 Share with Friend  
 Post Comment  

Tehran's tricks for squeezing Saudis

  November 12, 2009 by Amir Taheri

For almost a decade, Arab regimes have worried about alleged Iranian plans to create a "Shiite crescent" from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, encompassing Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and a yet-to-be liberated Palestine. Now fresh fears have grown that the "crescent" may take another shape as well -- from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden, and including chunks of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Since January, for instance, Iran has intensified pressure on Bahrain, where a Shiite majority has grievances against the Arab Sunni ruling elite. An archipelago connected with the Saudi mainland by a bridge, Bahrain provides the natural link to the oil-rich kingdom's Asharqiyah province, where Shiites form a majority.

But Yemen may be a better example. Inside Saudi Arabia, the Empty Quarter, a desert the size of Texas, separates the Asharqiyah Shiites from their co-religionists in the Najran, Jazan and Assir. Until 1932, those provinces were under the suzerainty of the Shiite Imam of Yemen. In that year the new Saudi Kingdom incorporated them -- an act the Yemenis didn't recognize until 2005.

On the Yemeni side of the border, Iran has been trying to create a branch of the pan-Shiite Hezbollah movement. The aim is to control a chunk of territory along the Saudi border and use it to destabilize the kingdom while exerting pressure on the Yemeni government.

This would echo Iran's 1982 creation of the Lebanese Hezbollah, which controls an enclave on the Israeli border, using it as a base for periodical attacks on Israel and continued political pressure on the Lebanese government in Beirut.

The Iran-inspired rebellion in Yemen started in 2007 under a tribal leader named Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Al-Houthi, from a small tribe in Yemen's northern highlands, spent eight years learning "Islamic jurisprudence" in the Iranian "holy" city of Qom. His critics claim that he really studied asymmetric warfare, not theology. He denies any ties with Iran but says that he admires the Iranian leadership's "brave stance against Crusaders and Zionists."

Over the last decade, scores of Yemenis have received military training in Iran or Hezbollah-controlled parts of Lebanon. The Houthis have also gotten weapons, either directly from Iran or via Lebanon. Last month, Yemen captured an Iranian ship near the port of Haja carrying weapons for the Houthis.

Although the Yemeni brand of Shi'ism differs from the Iranian one, al-Houthi argues that Muslims should regard the Islamic Republic as the leader of jihad against the US-led "infidel."

At first, Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh (a general who has ruled the country for 30 years), dismissed the rebellion as a "minor headache" and tried to bribe tribal leaders into crushing it. Two years later, he's had to admit he faces a major threat to his regime, if not Yemen's survival as a unified state.

The Houthis have seized control of the highlands, isolating Saada, the provincial capital. Key parts of Al-Hussmaah, Marib and Razeh have become no-go areas for government forces. Saleh's armies have failed to dislodge the rebels.

Earlier this month, the Houthis sent a column to Saudi Arabia in an apparent bid to incite rebellion against Riyadh. According to Saudi sources, the rebels built bunkers and dug trenches in sensitive areas close to Jabal-Dakhkhkan and Al-Khuyah, on the Saudi side.

Last week, the Saudis reacted by sending an expeditionary force, backed by fighter-bombers and tanks, to push the rebels back into Yemen. Yet even big air raids failed to push the Houthis from their pockets of "jihad" in Saudi territory. The Saudis lost eight men, with more than 130 wounded and at least five missing.

To deprive the Houthis of their main propaganda outlet, the Saudis have persuaded the owners of facilities serving the Middle East to take Iran's main Arabic-language TV station, Al-Alam (The World), off the air.

This week, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottakki warned that the Saudi move against Houthis won't remain "without an adequate answer," a sign that Tehran doesn't intend to abandon its allies.

Tehran may aim to get the Saudis involved in a long, asymmetric war, thus leaving them unable to respond to Khomeinist expansionism in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bahrain. Last time the Saudis were sucked into a Yemeni border war, it took them a decade to get extricated.

Iran's new, more aggressive posture is based on the assumption that America, under President Obama, is about to embark on what Mottakki calls "a strategic retreat" from the Middle East.

Click here to read original article


For further details click:

 No replies/comments found for this voice 
Please send your suggestion/submission to
Long Live Islam and Pakistan
Site is best viewed at 1280*800 resolution