Iran and the global energy security crunch

Anyone familiar with developments in Yemen over the past few years knows that Iran’s ayatollahs are hobbling any political settlement that would bring the country out of the woods. They tie this settlement to their dispute with the US over Iran’s nuclear program.

The same thing is happening with the rest of their military interventions in many Arab countries, which for them are bargaining chips to better negotiate any issues related to Iran, regionally and internationally.

Of course, growing threats from the Houthis to oil facilities in Saudi Arabia are part of Iran’s escalatory role and desire to heat up the atmosphere of unrest in Yemen, putting pressure on the administration of US President Joe Badin to make concessions as part of the messages exchanged between two parties at the present stage.

Logically, these threats cannot be traced solely to the Houthis. Indeed, they are in fact only a tool, a front for a sectarian expansionist plan that exceeds their resources, capabilities, logistics, armament and human potential. The protagonist, the mastermind and the real stakeholder is unarguably Iran’s ayatollahs.

They order missiles to be directed at Saudi cities and oil installations at times. Sometimes, they command to aim at Iraqi military bases housing American forces. Same commander and different goons in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

The fact that Houthis keep allying with Iran and that the latter is eager to capitalize on the Houthi factor is a clear reflection of the inability and lack of concerted effort of the global community to deal with this crisis like any other.

Riding roughshod over international law and legitimacy and flaunting their arsenal of missiles and aircraft received from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Houthi militias understand that the current world order is suffering from a state of chaos, liquidity and unprecedented lack of will. They will carry on with their threats that go as far as the oil storage facilities and the main export ports of the Kingdom with not a single international reaction proportional to the magnitude of the threat.

Obviously, energy security has been a red line for the major international powers, including the US, for decades. This is where any threat is faced with extreme rigor, regardless of its source, quality and nature. But today, warning shots are fired almost daily. They receive nonetheless little international condemnation that does not measure up to their gravity and negative effects.

What is happening today is for sure the upshot of past reactions.

The international community’s muteness and paralysis in the face of the attacks on Saudi oil facilities in 2019, whose involvement of the Iranian regime has been substantiated, has encouraged the ayatollahs’ regime to go forward. The ayatollahs’ regime has been prodded to re-offend after testing great powers. Zero appropriate response.

President Biden’s administration even downgraded the houthi group from US terror lists. The militia has replied only by ramping up its attacks and throwing down the gauntlet in everyone’s face. I think that one main reason for this attitude is the confidence of the ayatollahs that the White House’s options are now limited to negotiations and nothing else.

It is time for the masks to fall off in the conflict in Yemen. It must be admitted that Houthis are nothing more than a front for Iranian ayatollahs.

Their militia are under Iran’s employ: we are talking arming, planning, training and equipping. The decision of calm or escalation lies with the Revolution Guards commanders, and those who run the show are not in Sana’a. Real decision makers of the conflict management are none other than ayatollahs of Iran.

Recognizing this crystal clear truth matters, for many reasons. One is to better read the reality and better anticipate the next steps. Missile threats of the Houthis have nothing to do with the war, but are mainly aimed at settling Iran’s accounts with the Kingdom.

Iran is trying to demolish the US-Saudi alliance by questioning the willingness of US leaders to defend the security of the allied kingdom. This is an old/new Iranian strategic objective, for which ayatollahs seek to push for the withdrawal of US forces from the Gulf region and turn it into a fiefdom for the Iranian regime.

The truth is also that successive US administrations have not understood the seriousness of the ayatollahs’ plan to drive a wedge between the US and its Gulf allies. Indeed, there is a lack of alternatives and appropriate responses to the ayatollahs’ repeated violations of the most significant legs of US foreign policy in the Middle East in general and in the Gulf region in particular.

Washington is simply waiting for the ayatollahs to respond to their offers to negotiate, either directly or through international intermediaries. All indications are that the foundations of the alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries are being strained and complicated by Iran’s behavior.

I have little doubt that the persistent threat of the Houthis, under the thumb of Iran’s ayatollahs, risks exacerbating the chaos and provoking a dangerous escalation of the crisis. It is time for the US to demonstrate that it means business in meeting its commitments to its Gulf allies. Otherwise, things could get out of hand.

Source » israelhayom

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