Saudi-Iranian Tension Increases

[MEMRI] R. Green and Y. Admon - The current clashes between the Saudi security forces and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who have infiltrated Saudi Arabia from Yemen have intensified the steadily escalating conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In a column titled "The Houthis Are the Yemeni Hizbullah," Saudi columnist Muhammad bin 'Abd Al-Latif Aal Al-Sheikh wrote: "The situation in northern Yemen and in the south of our country, and the situation in Lebanon, are identical [reflections] of Iran's aspirations [and its method of] exploiting the sectarian dimension to further the next Persian agenda." Iranian officials rejected the Saudi accusations, and made threatening statements. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said about the fighting in Yemen: "We firmly warn the countries in the region and [our] neighbors against interfering in Yemen's internal affairs." An article in the daily Iran, which is associated with the Ahmadinejad government, claimed: "This war, which has been forced on the Shi'ites in Yemen, is a coordinated conspiracy by America and several Arab governments in the region, particularly Wahhabi evidenced by the fact that Saudi Arabia has occupied three Yemeni provinces and some 10 Yemeni islands...and is unwilling to withdraw from them, because they are very rich in oil."

2009-11-16 06:00:00

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