Kuwaiti report discloses Iranian “plot” to divide Yemen
BBC Monitoring Middle East
November 28, 2012
Report by Yahya al-Sadmi: “Religious Scholars Say That Killing Members of the Dialogue Committee and Fighting President Hadi are Lawful Acts by the Standards of Religion. Iranian Plot Reported To Divide Yemen by Creating One State in the North and Another One in the South”
A diplomatic source in Sanaa has disclosed to Al-Siyasah some extremely serious intelligence information on an Iranian plot to divide Yemen and split it up into two states.
The source noted that the design has been drawn up to create first a state in the north, by setting up an independent province for the Huthists including the governorates of Sa`dah, Al-Jawf, Hajjah, and Amran. All requirements of state-building will be met, including building an airport in the region of Sa`dah and exerting full control over Midi Port in Hajjah.
The second state will be established in southern Yemen through the secessionist wing of the Southern Mobility Movement [SMM] represented by former President Ali Salim al-Bid, who admitted in meetings with southern leaders abroad receiving large amounts of money from Tehran for this purpose. Al-Bid stated in this regard: “Yes, I indeed received sums of money from Iran, but other people receive such sums from Saudi Arabia and other states. I am not denying this fact.”
The source further noted that Western intelligence services monitored large financial remittances transferred last week to the south`s separatists and the Huthists based in the north. The funds include sums allocated for purchasing weapons, paying salaries, recruiting youths for both sides, and derailing the national unity conference that the Yemeni authorities have been preparing for many months. The source also expected Yemen to become Iran`s Shi`i backyard in replacement of Syria, in the event the Syrian revolution succeeds and leads to the overthrow of pro-Iranian President Bashar al-Asad.
On another note, a security source which preferred anonymity told Al-Siyasah that Al-Qaeda managed to expand its activities in Dhamar Governorate, central Yemen, where more than 40 of its members raised publicly the organization`s flags in Al-Saddah District.
The source said that the security services are tracking down a seven-member cell in Dhamar simultaneously to the manhunt for 12 Al-Qaeda terrorist cells based in the capital Sanaa, including four people each. These cells are currently recruiting youngsters and trying to take control of mosques through religious preachers mobilized by Al-Qaeda for this particular purpose.
The source stressed that Al-Qaeda has recently managed in many Yemeni regions to recruit youngsters, some of whom are related to army commanders and linked to security services, tribal leaders, and religious scholars.
In a separate development, Yemen`s Scholars` Committee [YSC] condemned the posting of a statement on its behalf and the picture of its leader Sheikh Abd-al-Majid al-Zindani on some electronic websites, in a statement issued by Yemen Scholars Federation. The YSC denied in a statement having released any document to the public, stressing that all information it publishes bear the YSC name and are carried through official YSC channels.
In fact, an online statement attributed to Yemen Scholars Federation considered that the members of the national dialogue committee and the foreign ambassadors overseeing the committee are the enemies of both the international Muslim community and the Yemeni people.
The same statement decreed that killing these individuals is permissible by the standards of religion if they do not disavow a public statement previously released, including reference to the division of Yemen into two countries, one in the north and the other in the south. The statement considered that such a call for dividing Yemen is an act of infidelity and an attempt to ignite blind sedition among the unified Yemeni people. Finally, the statement called for putting up a fight against President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, reminding him of the oath he once took before the people to maintain national security, stability, and unity.
Source: Al-Siyasah website, Kuwait, in Arabic 26 Nov 12
© 2012 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Iran: From exporting revolution to drugs
September 08, 2012
Painters rest as they wait for customers in Sanaa October 6, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi
THE Saudi Ministry of Interior foiled attempts to smuggle into the Kingdom SR 1.9 billion worth of drugs over the past few months and arrested 762 people. The suspects were trying to smuggle drugs into the Kingdom from Yemen, Iraq and through the sea. The arrest of so many suspects is no doubt an achievement at the international level. Interestingly, some of those arrested revealed who were targeting the Kingdom with such crimes.
Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, said the Saudi authorities were aware of the fact that some drug dealers would use neighboring countries such as Yemen, Iran and Jordan although these countries do not produce narcotics/drugs. And that is the reason why Riyadh has been successful in thwarting drug trafficking attempts. It seems as though Gen. Al-Turki did not want to mention that the Saudi intelligence carried out some daring operations that led to realizing a host of objectives with regard to drug trafficking. In fact, the Saudi intelligence managed to infiltrate the regional drug trafficking networks through its agents. The information gleaned from the arrested drug dealers indicates that some countries in the region compel drug dealers to work for their security agencies and that some radical forces are engaged in drug trafficking at the international level in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
It is worth mentioning that Iranian philosophy is based on exploiting all possible means to realize its objectives. Therefore, their means range from prostitution to drug trafficking. And this manipulation conforms to their understanding that it is permissible to do that in non-Iranian society. Besides, Iran looks down upon Arabs despite the fact that Arabs were the ones who spread Islam in the Persian land and that, as a result, made Iran civilized. But, the Persian chauvinism played a role in creating trouble in the Ottoman state and made religion a representation of their ethnic chauvinism.
There are a lot of incidents that will prove my conclusion. Iraq, for instance, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, never had the drug problem. At that time, the number of drug addicts was less than one percent. However, following the American-Iranian occupation of Iraq, it has hit the 38-percent mark. Alarmingly, it has reached 68 percent in southern part of Iraq. An Iraqi Shiite psychiatrist confirmed these figures. Interestingly, drugs reach Iraq through Najaf airport directly without fear or interrogation. These drugs find their way across the Iraqi-Saudi borders.
But the Kingdom knows how to frustrate the Iranian scheme. In recent years, the attempts have not been confined to the northern and eastern borders but also through Yemeni ports. Unfortunately, those who transport drugs are Yemenis linked to Iranians.
Iran will have a hard time explaining how it defends the Shiite communities, supports the Houthis and claims to support resistance when in fact it contributes to social destruction of other countries. Others may ask as to why drug trafficking is widespread in southern Lebanon? Is it true, as Hezbollah has been claiming, that the target is the Israeli Army as if drugs are part of the resistance? Some radical Islamists rely on an Iranian religious verdict that permits drug trafficking to benefit financially and to divide the pagan societies. For this reason, some people from Morocco are active in Europe under the illusion that spreading drugs is part of a holy war against the enemy. Needless to say that Islam bans drugs or any attempt to harm the safety of other societies.
An average Saudi citizen is aware that his country is targeted by Iran. I have not met any Saudi after the announcement of this huge drug bust, who did not say that Iran was behind this trade. They are right! According to some international statistics, 17 percent of the Iranian youths deal with drugs. If anything, this high percentage - needless to mention abortion and illegitimate children - is worrisome. According to documents leaked by WikiLeaks, Iran is one of the biggest drug smugglers in the world. An American cable from the American Embassy in Baku dated June 12, 2009, confirms that there was a spike in the quantity of heroin smuggled from Iran to Azerbaijan. The amount of smuggled heroin increased from 20 kg in 2006 to 59,000 kg in the first quarter of 2009. The cable points out that this took place under the supervision and cooperation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. German sources argue that every time Azerbaijani authorities handed over Iranians caught in drug trafficking, Iran released them a few days later.
Saudi Arabia has not yet accused Iran directly this time. Nonetheless, the Saudi authorities have confessions from some suspects that incriminate Iran. It is pertinent to mention that 130 kgs of heroin were caught in an Iranian shipment to Nigeria. In fact, Nigeria filed an official complain at the UN Security Council calling for imposing severe sanctions on Iran.
We all remember the Jordanian-Hamas crisis. The origin of the conflict had less to do with politics and more with the fact that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had infiltrated Hamas to establish a foothold for a Palestinian Hezbollah. Jordan security agencies caught weapons coming from Iraq and Lebanon and also a huge quantity of drugs. Just recently, Jordan refused to receive the deputy director of the Iranian intelligence and sent a retired prince to represent Jordan at the Non-Aligned summit, which was held in Tehran.
We all know that Iran messes with others and that the war between Israel and Iran is one of media. We also know that Iran is closer to Israel than to the Arabs. Ali Khamenei sent a letter to Israel via the Russian president with one clear message: Let us work together against the Sunni Arabs to control the region. As a matter of fact, we are aware of Iran`s national and racist attitude toward the rest of us in the region. Iran is being exposed at all levels. Shockingly, the Iranian attempt to change the translation of the Egyptian president`s speech is nothing but its lack of respect for Egypt and its status. A country that resorts to such an option is one that loses all other options.
© Copyright: Arab News 2012.
Saudi Arabia and the future of Yemen
November 29, 2012
No one can deny the key role played by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries in general to prevent the outbreak of civil war in Yemen last year. The Gulf Initiative was the lever used by the Saudi leadership to do so.
Although the Gulf Initiative was initially a proposal made by the former president of Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries as a political exit to help Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh avoid the fate of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and former Tunisian President Zine Abidine Ben Ali, it does not change the fact that Saudi Arabia is the actual godfather of the Gulf Initiative.
I believe that the most important and positive aspect about the Gulf Initiative is that it emphasizes the unity of Yemen and the need to preserve it, in addition to emphasizing the international community`s support for a unified and stable Yemen.
Thus, the initiative helped to crystallize a clear and explicit regional and international position on Yemen after the February 2011 revolution, and tried to cut off all secessionist attempts early on. In theory, it placed those who advocated for secessionist projects into the category of hinderers of the political settlement. It is also a basic reference on which the United Nations Security Council based resolutions 2014 and 2051 and statements issued regarding the situation in Yemen, all of which emphasized the unity of Yemen.
There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia played a key role in this remarkable international position on the unity of Yemen. This is not a strange position from the kingdom, which has, through its senior leaders and official statements, repeatedly stated its support and adherence to the concept of a single, stable Yemen.
Moreover, the Arabism and nationalism of King Abdullah are known to all. His participation in the celebrations of our country`s Unity Day in Aden years ago confirms his strong support for Yemeni unity. The same goes for Crown Prince Salman. In his first meeting with a Yemeni delegation headed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Habtoor, president of the University of Aden, after becoming crown prince, he called for upholding and preserving the unity of Yemen as an important asset for the Yemeni people, as well as the Arab and Islamic nation.
Despite Saudi Arabia`s indirect support for Yemen`s secessionists in the 1994 civil war (which was due to the Yemeni position on the occupation of Kuwait at the time), Sheikh Abdullah`s statements in his memoirs about King Fahd - in which he urged him in a meeting they had during the war to quickly resolve the battle due the great pressure he was being subjected to - shows that the Saudi leadership considers the unity of Yemen as a strategic asset for the kingdom, and a way to ensure its vital interests and maintain security and stability in the region and the world.
The way some branches of the [Saudi] ruling family dealt with the secessionist leaders, particularly in the recent period, gives an impression to many that there is a huge gap between the public Saudi support for Yemeni unity and what is happening on the ground, in the sense that there are some ambiguities that need to be clarified by the brothers in Saudi Arabia to clear off the confusion. These include: - It is known that the main funding for the secessionist mobility forces in Yemen comes from expatriate businessmen and traders living in Saudi Arabia. Yet, the Saudi government has not taken real steps to dry up funding for the mobility. It also did not take any measures against the active mobility leaderships living on its soil like Abdul Rab al-Naqib, for example.
- Unlike the Sultanate of Oman - which revoked the citizenship of former President of South Yemen Ali Salem al-Bid and asked him to leave its territories when he decided in 2009 to resume political activity - Riyadh did not take any action against prominent mobility leaders who carry Saudi citizenship and reside on its soil like Al-Asnaj, Al-Jafri and Al-Attas. This is despite the fact that those personalities, particularly Attas, had stepped up their suspicious activity and movements against Yemeni unity since the end of last year.
Although the Saudi leadership is keen on ensuring the success of the political settlement and implementing the Gulf Initiative, and is aware that exerting pressure and threatening both parties of the crisis with international sanctions was the main reason for the success of the political settlement until now, the kingdom has so far not shown any willingness to use its influence with the most prominent leaders of the secessionist movement at home and abroad, and try to pressure them to persuade them to participate in the national dialogue conference and abandon their impossible terms.
This is despite the fact that this rejection has actually become the main obstacle to holding the conference and major threat to the success of the political settlement as a whole.
If the calls of Abdul Rahman Al-Jafari, Haidar Al-Attas and Ali Nasser, who receives 10,000 Saudi riyals [$2,667] per month from the Special Committee, as claimed by Al-Shari newspaper - for federalism and self-determination [as a means] to resolve the Southern issue was an excuse for Saudi Arabia not to intervene to put pressure on these leaders, then the situation changed days ago.
Attas, Jafri, and Hassan Baoum (whom Riyadh recently succeeded to polarize and used to divide the Southern Mobility Movement council and to weaken Bid`s pro-Iranian current) announced in Cairo on Nov. 17 that they reached a political agreement that calls for secession and abandons [the call for] federalism. Although this position totally contradicts the Gulf Initiative and the Saudi position, Saudi Arabia has so far ignored the matter as if it did not concern it or has lost control over these worn-out leaders, which it has always manipulated by remote control.
That is not all. Some suspect that the recent rapprochement between Baoum and the Nasser-Attas current, and Jafri`s sudden decision to join them, was premeditated by Riyadh as part of its efforts to curtail the gulf iniative.
This is especially true since Baoum said in a statement before leaving for Cairo that he met while receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia months ago the then Minister of the Interior Prince Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz, a meeting that was far from innocent.
Unconfirmed information leaked by sources close to Baoum suggests that the latter met with Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the current interior minister, during his stay in Saudi Arabia and that the meeting may have resulted in a deal whereby Prince Mohammed gave Baoum a check worth $10 million as a down payment.
Although the details of the deal are not known, the coup led by Baoum against Bid once the latter returned home was part of the terms of the deal.
I believe that if the information on the deal is true, then Baoum will no longer accept money as a reward for his staging a coup against Bid, but he may have other demands. The important question to ask here is: What is the political reward requested by Baoum from Prince Mohammed? Are there promises by the prince to seek, for instance, to convince the king and crown prince to reconsider Saudi Arabia`s position on Yemeni unity, or at least to not interfere to block a likely external direction to pressure, through the national dialogue conference, the interlocutors to accept granting the South the right to self-determination? The aforementioned Cairo Declaration reinforces this argument. I believe that what Attas, Baoum and Jafri agreed on is a mere tactical move made by these leaders before officially announcing approval of participating in the national dialogue as the sole representative of the mobility that is recognized by the international mediators, with the conclusive exclusion of Bid`s stream.
Thus, these leaders deliberately raised the bar of their demands for federalism with [the right to] self-determination to secession before going to the dialogue table, so they would - in response to the expected pressure from the mediators during the dialogue sessions - abandon [the demand] for secession in return for the consent of the other party on granting the south the right of self-determination.
If the supposedly Saudi-affiliated leaders managed to obtain the right to self-determination at the dialogue conference with a green light from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will have fallen into the trap that was set up by the secessionist mobility forces and committed a grave strategic mistake that will soon affect it negatively.
Saudi Arabia has no guarantees that the public disputes between the mobility leaders are real differences, and not just an exchange of roles that is being skillfully directed. This is especially true given the conviction of the various mobility forces that the only way to persuade Saudi Arabia to change its firm position on unity is by exploiting its fears of the Iranian direction that aims to find a foothold for Tehran in the South.
What further supports this argument is Baoum`s call to the mobility leaders after its general conference held in Aden early October to unite and postpone their differences after achieving secession, and the many meetings between Ali Nasser with Bid, the latest of which was held in Beirut during the Eid Al-Adha.
Despite the apparent difference in vision between the two men, it asserts that they have overcome their personal antagonism. Furthermore, the Nasser-Attas current`s adoption of the demand for secession and abandoning federalism practically finishes the main disagreement with Bid`s current.
It is important that Riyadh realizes that supporting the self-determination of the South means accepting secession.
In light of the deteriorating Yemeni economy, the weakness of the state, and the large number of open files in addition to the continuous regionalist provocation in the south against national unity, self-determination and all these factors make the secession the most likely outcome that will come out of any referendum held in the south.
Going back to secession means that Saudi Arabia will find itself in an unenviable position. The fact that Saudi Arabia is not intervening to curb the separatist figures that are considered its allies and is not obstructing the secessionist plan represents a good opportunity for the enemies of Saudi Arabia in the northern provinces who have resumed their campaign and have been trying to incite the citizens against the kingdom.
This also paves the way for the Houthis (in alliance with the Nasserites), the Ba`thists and the socialists to control the north.
Similarly, it is very likely that the enemies of Saudi Arabia will seize power in the south. This is due to the fact that the influence of [Ali Salim] Al-Bid and his followers exceeds that of the leaders loyal to Riyadh in the south, particularly since the followers of the Yemeni Socialist Party and the youth forces will ally with Bid given that Saudi Arabia has always been considered a historical enemy as it has supported Yemen`s unity.
Additionally, several Southern Mobility leaders have rejected the Jeddah Agreement on the demarcation of the border, not to mention the southerners` deep-seated belief that Saudi Arabia is behind inciting Hadramaut to secede from the south.
In recent months, Hadramaut has been increasingly calling for disengagement from the south with the growing activity of the sons of Sultan Al-Kathiri and other committees in Hadramaut such as the League of Hadramaut Forces.
In that sense, Saudi Arabia will find itself surrounded by a Shiite crescent and two hostile entities in the South. It is unenviable that those two entities will, spurred by Iran, work on supporting the Shiite rebellion in the south and the east of the kingdom, particularly since the atmosphere is receptive for such a thing with the arrival of the Arab Spring to monarchical states such as Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, and the threat the Arab Spring poses on the ruling regimes in these countries.
It is also possible that the Arab spring might reach Saudi Arabia as the ruling family is occupied with the illness of King Abdallah and trying to look for an acceptable procedure to transfer power to the younger generation within the family.
Often, countries seek to impose influence on the surrounding countries to maintain their national security and strategic interests, which is similar to Saudi Arabia`s relationship with [Yemen].
Despite the end of the border issue between the two countries after the signing of Jeddah Agreement, the elusiveness of the former president and his tactics, which contributed to aggravating the threat of the Houthis and Al-Qaeda, were two of the reasons that forced Saudi Arabia to use the south as a pressure card in a way that would serve its vital interests.
Unfortunately, it seems that certain parties within the ruling family are still adhering to this policy despite the fact that the credibility and seriousness of the Yemeni leadership represented by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi requires them to abandon this policy and provide him with various kinds of support and assistance to fulfill his promises, and cooperate with him to face the common dangers posed to both countries.
Personally, I am still counting on the unity and Arabism of King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman to carry out direct intervention and abandon the policy that considers the south a pressure card that can be used against Sana`a from time to time.
Translated from Al-Tagheer (Yemen)
© Copyright 2012 Yemen Times. All Rights Reserved.