Yemen Developments; the Domestic Actors...
Yemen Developments; the Domestic Actors Struggle’ in Light of Regional Competition
Four years after revolution in Arab countries, the Yemenis are still attempting to realize the goals of their own revolution and this fact has led to dynamic developments in the country and increase in regional competition to direct these developments.
With no conclusion of the planned agreement in Riyadh and demonstration of the revolutionists some political developments happened in Yemen the result of which is power increase of the AlHuothi movement, promotion of Iran’s position in Yemen as well as more activities of Takfiri and terrorist groups.
Beside the Yemeni government’s inefficiency, more tensions between political parties and religious groups, more attempts of the southern groups for separation, more insecurity and terrorist attacks are some of the evidences of the fragile situation in Yemen and leading the government towards a failed state situation.
While power matrix is collapsed in Yemen, the country’s developments have changed position of the involved actors at both regional and international levels. And in this way, Iran’s weight as the supporter of political changes in Yemen has increased to detriment of Saudi Arabia and the PGCC that are in favor of consolidating the Yemeni government’s status and returning power to National Congress Party and its supporters and allies.
With the rule of Ansarullah on many parts of Yemen, the Salafi groups including Muslim Brotherhood and Takfiris have taken a position in this regard and announced their anxiety over what they called as increase in the Shiite and Iran’s influence in Yemen.
The general result of political and religious competition in Yemen is increase of insecurity and terrorist attacks, and in the past months, other than a lot of civilians, many political and party dignitaries have been assassinated.
Pro-independence southern groups believe that the best time for independence is the time being and they have intention to achieve Saudi and Russian support and given the weakness of the central government, they would like to realize their desire of independence now. As more than 60% of oil revenues and 90% of the Yemen total exports are from the southern part of the country, the separatist groups are hopeful to improve their economic and political situation by separation of 6 southern provinces , namely, Adan, Lahj, Abin, Shabooh, Hadralmoot and Mohreh.
Currently there are three factions within the Alharaak movement that call for, respectively, political – economic reform, justice in geographical distribution under a comprehensive and a technocrat government, establishing federalism and granting autonomous position to the South and separation of South from the North.
Iran’s support of the revolutionaries and AlHuothi s while Saudi Arabia and the PGCC support consolidation of power of the government and its allies, have made political destiny of the country so important for both sides. After domination of Ansarullah in Sana and surrender of Mansour Hadi’s government against demands of protestors, Saudi Arabia tries to pretend indifferent towards these developments, however, the PGCC as a supplementary role player, made a lot of efforts to put pressure on Ansarullah.
Feared by increase in strength of Ansarullah and interpreting it as more influence of Iran, Saudi Arabia intends to support extremists in the field, including Al-Qaida so preventing Ansaraalah and Huothi s victories.
The USA is concerned with spread of terrorism and rule of Al-Qaida in Yemen; therefore, it tries to talk with Ansarullah and so to prevent emergence of a power vacuum in favor of AL-Qaida.
Disintegration of Yemen is in the US detriment for two reasons. First, it will increase influence of Huothi es and then Iran in the northern part as many of Zeidi provinces and Huothi footholds are in the north. Second, it can increase strength of Al-Qaida in Sunni areas at which it has a strong social base.
Given to Ansarullah influence, the existing developments in Yemen show the fact that it is unlikely that Salih’s era to restore and it is totally impossible for the country to return to complete peace and settlement of disputes among political faction in the near future.
It is important for the Islamic Republic of Iran to play a constructive role to promote understanding between the rival groups in Yemen first and then to support its allies in preventing their forceful removal from the scene.