Expert: Tension In Middle East Will Grow
Saudi Arabia with its allies began bombings of houthi rebels in Yemen who are supported by Iran on 26 March. At the same time the tension stays between Sunnites and Shiites in Lebanon, recently Saudi Arabians supressed Shia rebellion in Bahrain. What is the probability of Yemen operation escalating the internal conflict in the Middle East? Is the conflict possible between Muslim superpowers? The KRYNICA.INFO reporter tried to answer these questions with the director of Strategy and Foreign Policy Research Center, Arseny Sivitsky.
“The radical phase of a struggle between Shia Iran and Sunna began with a Syrian conflict in 2013. It was provoked, I remind you, by the Persian Gulf monarchies including Saudi Arabia and was aimed at undermining Iran’s position in the region (because Assad’s regime is the main ally of Iran in the region)”, – told Arseny Sivitsky. The expert added that the pro-Iran houthi’s rebellion in Yemen can be called a peculiar counter-measure against the Saudian intervention in the Syrian crisis.
“We have witnessed the strngthening of Iran’s regional postition. It is also connected with diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington becoming closer due to the cooperation in several directions such as fighting the “Islamic State””, – mentioned the research center director. The analyst also specified that Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan and several other states are not satisfied with that trend because it undermines their own position in the region.
Arseny Sivitsky also pointed out that tillthe present moment Iran and Saudi Arabia avoided direct military confrontation, waging so called proxy wars. Thus, Saudi Arabia supported radical groups in Syria while Iran mobilized Hesbollah group for Assad’s support as well as of Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution elite units.
“I also think that in Yemen we can see an opposite situation: Iran supports houthi rebels while Saudi Arabia with its Gulf Cooperation Council allies lends military support to the President Hadi’s regime”, – the analyst expressed his opinion.
According to Arseny Sivitsky, in this situation a direct regional conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia seems quite possible. “At the same time these states will probably continue leading proxy wars against each other on the external theatres, avoiding a direct confrontation. First of all it is connected with the fact that Saudi Arabia managed to mobilize quite a large coalition include several states of Arab League to confront houthi”, – explained the expert.
According to the analyst, the situation in the Middle East may drastically escalate in this summer. It will be mainly cuased by the Iran’s nuclear program question solution deadline which is due to 1 July. “But despite the fact whether the aggreement between the mediators six and Iran will be found the geopolitical tension between them and the tension in the Middle East region will keep growing any way”, – summarized Arseny Sivitsky.
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