The recent escalation in the ongoing geopolitical rivalry between the Shi'ite Persian Iran and the Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia is the result of increased clashes in Yemen between the Iran-supported Houthis and the pro-Saudi regime, as well as of the deepening Islamic State (ISIS) crisis in Iraq and Syria. Iran is claiming that Saudi Arabia has, together with the U.S. and Israel, created, armed, and guided ISIS, with the aim of enabling the group to operate against Shi'ites and against Iran itself, and to create schisms in Islam.
Officials and organizations associated with the ideological camp of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have been harsh in their criticism of Saudi Arabia, and in particular of the Al-Saud royal family. In addition to accusing it of being behind ISIS, they are also claiming that the Al-Saud family is of Jewish origin and is the enemy of Islam. Some are even claiming that the end of the family is at hand.
In a September 6, 2014 article, the editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan, Hossein Shariatmadari, who is an associate of Khamenei, assessed that it was time for the Al-Saud family to fall. Just days before the Yemeni capital San'a fell to the Houthis, Shariatmadari wrote that the family, "the tyrannical regime imposed by the West" in Saudi Arabia that supports the regime in Yemen, would not survive the Houthi revolution there, and that it is also threatened by ISIS members, whom it had cultivated and funded with the aim of having them oust the regimes in Syria and Iraq and who are now returning after suffering defeat in those countries.
Majlis member Alireza Zakani also assessed that the Shi'ite revolution in Yemen would spark a revolution in Saudi Arabia.
On September 7, 2014, a website associated with the Student Basij claimed that the Al-Saud family was falsely claiming to represent Islam in order to gain legitimacy for its rule. It also stated that the Al-Saud family is the sworn enemy of Muslims because it is of Jewish origin, that it came to power thanks to a Jewish plot, and that it conducted close clandestine relations with the Zionist movement prior to the establishment of Israel and as such is a threat to Islam.
A few days later, on September 10, 2014, Ali Saeedi, Khamenei's representative in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said that Saudi Arabia was backing ISIS terrorism against the Syrian and Iraqi governments, using its financial resources and religious status to scheme against, sow strife in, and destroy the Islamic world.
With the September 2014 Shi'ite Houthi takeover of Sana'a, Iranian spokesmen underlined the link between the Islamic revolution of the Shi'ite Houthis in Yemen and the Islamic Revolution in Iran. They argued that the Yemen events constitute an important geostrategic shift that would bring about the collapse of the Saudi regime and of other Sunni regimes in the region.
Following are excerpts from these statements:
Kayhan Editor: The Islamic Revolution In Yemen Will Lead To The Collapse Of The Tyrannical Saudi Regime
In his September 6, 2014 article, Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari wrote: "The Islamic revolution underway in Yemen is an exalted and unrestrainable move that will lead to the collapse of the Al-Saud regime and remove from this medieval regime – which has since its inception operated as a regional base for the forces of the arrogance [i.e. the West, led by the U.S.] – the imposed puppet rule of the dictatorial Al-Saud family.
"The Al-Saud royal family always refers to Yemen as [its] 'strategic ally' and spares no effort to preserve this pro-Western regime on that Islamic soil [i.e. Yemen]... The Al-Saud family claims Yemen as its strategic ally, while the [Saudi] regime itself is a puppet regime imposed by force and established with Britain's support on the sacred Hejaz lands, and has since then continued its life with joint American-British support. Therefore, the Saudi government's use of the term 'strategic ally' to describe its relations with Yemen is meaningless, unacceptable, and not recognized in political culture and international relations...
"Yemen is not the strategic ally of the Hejaz authorities – rather, it is the Achilles heel of the Al-Saud regime. Today, the Islamic revolution [in Yemen] – which, like the Islamic Revolution in Iran, enjoys the support of millions of [Shi'ite] Muslims in Yemen – is finally targeting that Achilles heel. From precisely this emanates the concern shared by the Al-Saud regime and America and its allies; this is because all signs attest to the fact that it is now the turn of the Al-Saud regime to fall. Today the regime that this family has forced on the sacred Hejaz land is but a few steps from its end. The [Houthi] Islamic revolution that is taking place in Yemen, and the ambush carried out by mercenary terrorists – who emerged thanks primarily to the dollars of the Al-Saud family – are threatening to bring down the Saudi regime...
"The people of Yemen are known for their strong faith... and self-sacrifice... The Yemeni people's control of their own land... will fundamentally change the geopolitical order in the region, from the ground up. As part of this, the Al-Saud regime will be the first puppet regime in the region to pay for its hostility towards the Muslim peoples, and especially for the unjustly spilled blood of the oppressed men, women, and children in Syria, Iraq, and Gaza.
"The Al-Saud regime is also facing another acute challenge: the ambush by ISIS's savage mercenary terrorists... The Al-Saud regime took it upon itself to finance the weapons and other expenses of the mercenary terrorists, and even released a large number of prisoners who had been sentenced either to death or to lengthy prison terms, on condition that they join the ranks of ISIS. This regime deluded itself that ISIS would be successful in Syria and later in Iraq, so it did not conceal its support, in arms and funds, for the mercenary terrorists – and even emphasized its participation in meetings it held with the alleged Friends of Syria. However, the mercenary terrorists of ISIS have now been defeated in Syria and Iraq, and are in the process of being eliminated.
"The ISIS terrorists consist of three circles: the leaders, whose link to the Western-Hebrew-Arab triumvirate is clear to all; the professional criminals, who, together with the first circle, know that they are entering battle as mercenaries; and the third circle, which comprises those who were deceived and sent to the [battlefield] after brainwashing and propaganda by supposedly religious Wahhabi muftis. The response of this last circle has become a nightmare that today frightens several Western countries [as well as] the Al-Saud regime; this is because the address and characteristics of the enemy with which this circle was provided [so that it could target them] perfectly match [the description of] the heads of the Al-Saud regime. Therefore, the Saudis fear that this circle, now that it has failed in the mission that was forced upon it, and has realized the deception that was created for it, will go back and find the real enemies, and will carry out an operation that is the opposite [of the mission on which it was dispatched] – and the signs of this are already apparent...
"The time for the Al-Saud family [to fall] is now."
Saudi King Abdallah, Yemeni President Mansur Hadi, and President Obama drink the blood of the Yemeni people (Source: Tasnim, Iran, September 10, 2014)
On September 18, 2014, Majlis member Alireza Zakani joined in this assessment, stating: "Fourteen of the 20 provinces in Yemen and 90% of Sana'a are now in the hands of the revolutionaries... Following the victory in Yemen, the turn of Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly arrive. These two countries share a 2,000-km border, and today in Yemen two million armed men are operating in a single organizational framework."
Student Basij Website: The Al-Saud Family Is Of Jewish Origin, And Is The "Sworn Enemy Of Islam And The Muslims"
An article titled "The Al-Saud Family – Sworn Enemy of Islam and the Muslims," posted September 7, 2014 on the website snn.ir, which is affiliated with the Student Basij, stated: "A look at history and at how the Al-Saud dictatorship was established in the Saudi peninsula shows that this deviant sect does not even minimally address the slogan of Islam and religion, and that it chose Islam only as a pretext for preserving its illegitimate rule...
"In his 1,040-page book, the well-known Saudi writer Nasser Al-Saeed extensively researched the corruption and moral deviancy of each member of the Al-Saud family, [in order] to prove the Judaism of this family.
"In the first 30 pages, Al-Saeed examined the Al-Saud family tree, and proved that the family's origins are in the Jews of Hejaz and Al-Madina. Later in the book, Al-Saeed explained how the Jews supported Muhammad bin 'Abd Al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi thought. He then explained the stages of Muhammad bin 'Abd Al-Wahhab's seizure of the religious leadership – and of his transfer of the political leadership of Saudi Arabia to the Al-Saud dynasty, that was planned implemented by the Jews.
"The book also deals with the crimes and massacres perpetrated by the Al-Saud dynasty against Saudi tribes, and as proof, presents several historical photos that confirm that [these crimes and massacres] actually took place.. Later on, the book summarizes the close and profound relationship between the Saudi royal family and the British during the last century, as well as the close clandestine relationship between the Al-Saud dynasty and the founder of the Zionist regime, Ben Gurion, both before and after its establishment. It states: Ben Gurion received direct support from the Al-Saud dynasty in the matter of the establishment of the Zionist regime.
"In light of all this, it is not improbable that the Al-Saud dynasty would take a step harming the nature and essence of Islam. Only alertness and wisdom on the part of the Muslims will prevent the Wahhabi dictators from realizing their filthy goals."
Khamenei's IRGC Representative: "Saudi Arabia Has Become The Center Of Schemes And Of Creating Schisms In The Islamic World"
Khamenei's representative to the IRGC, Ali Saeedi, told the Tasnim website in a September 10, 2014 interview: "See where the resources of the Islamic world are being squandered today. The $13 billion being paid today by the Wahhabi stream to fight the correct, true Islam is an unimaginably massive sum.
"Sadly, Saudi Arabia is using [its] fortune to destroy the Islamic world and to massacre innocents – when it should be the center of the development of the thought, wisdom, and policy needed to administer the Islamic world so that it constitutes a safe haven for the Muslim peoples. Instead, Saudi Arabia has become the center of schemes and of creating schisms in the Islamic world.
"Elements found in Saudi Arabia are creating some of the events taking place today in Iraq and Syria. Sadly, some Islamic circles are fighting for America and for the oppressive Zionist regime. This is the worst possible disaster that we are witnessing."
Anti-Saudi Discourse Escalates After Yemen Falls To Houthis
Iranian Website Affiliated With IRGC: "The Victory Of The Shi'ite Houthis Has Proven Yet Again The Victory Of The Discourse Of The Resistance"
After the Houthi takeover of Sana'a in September 2014, a September 26 article on the Tasnim website, which is affiliated with the IRGC, warned that the Houthis should not leave the city, as they committed to do in the agreement signed with the Sunni leadership, because this agreement was a Saudi ruse aimed at stopping the Shi'ite Islamic revolution in Yemen. The article claimed that the Houthi takeover was a geostrategic change that would lead to the fall of the Saudi regime and of other Sunni regimes, and stressed the historic and religious connection between the Yemeni and Iranian societies as far back as the pre-Islamic era. The following are excerpts from the article:
"Now, all the sacrifice has borne fruit, and the [Shi'ite Houthi] revolutionaries have, with their resistance, forced the government to retreat. Before the signing of the peace agreement between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, the people celebrated in the streets of the country, and declared to the world that the revolution had triumphed... At ceremonies, the revolutionaries carried pictures of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini and of the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran [Khamenei], and waved them at the cameras. The leader of the Ansar Allah [the military wing of the Houthis] in Yemen [Abd Almalek Al-Houthi] said at the ceremonies that this victory belongs to all the Yemenis...
"The resistance of the [Shi'ite] revolutionaries in Sana'a made the Yemeni government retreat and to surrender to them, but it's not over yet; on the contrary, the mission of the revolutionaries is only in its first stage. The agreement has been achieved, but there is still no guarantee that it will be implemented. The revolutionaries must not leave the arena in Sana'a until their demands are completely implemented – otherwise, the Shi'ite Houthis will have to go back to the mountains of Sa'adeh, and this time too they will be attacked by the army, as happened under [the previous Yemeni president] Ali Abdallah Saleh...
"Saudi Arabia is the biggest loser in the Houthi revolution in Yemen. It is dealing with the problem of legitimacy at home, and, since 2011, along with the wave of revolutions in tbe region, it has been fighting protests on its own soil, and is deeply concerned about the changes in Yemen. The Saudi foreign minister announced that Yemen's security is Saudi security. The Saudis even threatened to attack the [Houthi] revolutionaries when the popular nonviolent demonstrations began, but the revolutionaries... made the most of this golden opportunity and took a big step towards a popular regime in Yemen and towards blocking the path to any foreign intervention there.
"Now, the people in Yemen and the Houthi revolutionaries stand before a great test... [because] the Yemeni government could pretend that it wants to reconcile with the revolutionaries but in effect this would be only until the time is right to suppress them. Thus, by means of this agreement, in the first stage the revolutionaries' determination to remain in the arena will be weakened; after that, [the Yemeni government] will suppress them. Therefore, the revolutionaries must act with great wisdom [because] a golden opportunity like this will not come again... They must not [allow themselves to] be misled and to miss this chance.
"The victory of the Shi'ite Houthis has proven yet again the victory of the discourse of the revolution in the region, and it can even be called the start of a new wave of Islamic awakening... Therefore, with the victory of the revolutionaries in Yemen, it is possible to hope that this rebellion will percolate to other Arab countries in the region...
"Yemen is located on the southern rib of Saudi Arabia, and it has sensitive and prominent strategic status. It spreads out over two strategic coasts – the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea... Today it can be said boldly that the Yemeni people has become a united nation determined to remove the current puppet government and to establish a popular-Islamic government and regime, and that [in Yemen] there is now an atmosphere identical to that which prevailed in Iran in the months preceding [its 1979] Islamic Revolution. This united nation is striving to liberate its homeland from the regime of the puppet rulers who act on behalf of the West, out of belief and out of religious obligation, and several times it has shown that it will under no circumstances back down on any of its divine demands.
"One of the traits of the revolutionaries in Yemen that frightens and worries America and the puppet rule of Al-Saud is the revolutionaries' obstinate hostility towards the Wahhabis and the takfiris, to the point where one of the main slogans at the million-man demonstrations in Yemen is 'fighting ISIS and the takfiris.'
"It is expected, then, that the Yemeni people's rule of its [own] land... will significantly, immediately, and fundamentally change the geopolitical order. The Al-Saud regime will be the first puppet regime in the region to lose its ability to conduct hostilities against the Muslim nations, particularly in light of the blood that has been unjustly spilled in Syria, Iraq, and Gaza...
"In the view of the Al-Saud regime, the Shi'ites in Sa'adeh constitute an actual danger to the Wahhabis and a great obstacle to the spread of Saudi thought on Yemeni soil. In addition, Yemen's territory is a safe haven for Wahhabi political opponents of the Al-Saud regime, and therefore... Saudi Arabia has shown sensitivity to the internal changes in Yemen... In recent years, Saudi Arabia has taken a military step [in Yemen] because it sensed that the internal crisis in Yemen could percolate into its territory, because the Shi'ite provinces of Jazan and Al-Sharqiya border Yemen... On the other hand, the Al-Saud regime, hated by the Shi'ites on its own soil, needs security along its lengthy border with Yemen, in order to preserve its strength. These borders have always been a source of concern and crisis for the Saudi rulers...
"The Saudi royal family has invested all its financial, diplomatic, and military capabilities in repressing the popular movements and in preventing the fall of the [Sunni] monarchies. They have done this by means of spreading reactionary and counter-revolutionary Wahhabi thought in the Arab countries in the region. Saudi Arabia, the GCC countries, and America have tried to rein in or take over these revolutions, particularly the revolution in Yemen. This interference has been reflected many times in statements by top Saudi and American officials.
"Because of its special strategic status and land reserves, Yemen is an additional target for American interference in the region. This does not go unnoticed by the officials in Saudi Arabia, who, as allies of the U.S., are preparing the way for American intervention and presence in this region.
"The historic and religious link between Iran and Yemen goes back to the pre-Islamic era, and has been reflected in the presence of Yemeni cultural figures in Iran and in private visits by influential Iranian figures to Yemen. Thus, Iran has obtained influential presence in Yemen in two eras – first, several decades before the emergence of Islam... and second, in the third century after the Hijra during the era of the founder of the Zaidiyyah [the Shi'ite school of thought] in Yemen...
"The Wahhabis and the Yemeni government are trying to instigate a feud between the Zaidiyya and the [Iranian] Imami Shi'ites, but in truth, these two schools of thought have a great deal in common – and they are in fact two sides of the same coin. The [Iranian] Imami thought and the [Yemeni] Zaidi weapons have complemented each other throughout history."
Iranian Journalist To Hizbullah-Affiliated TV Channel: "We In The Axis Of Resistance Are The New Sultans Of The Mediterranean And The [Persian] Gulf"
In a September 24, 2014 interview with Mayadeen TV, which is close to Hizbullah, Iranian journalist Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini said, "The Saudi ruler represents a tribe on the verge of extinction" and "a third world war has begun." He added, "We in Tehran, Damascus, [Hizbullah's] southern suburb of Beirut, Baghdad, and Sana'a will shape the map of the region" (view the clip of this interview on MEMRI TV here).
Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini: "The Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and the Strait of Hormuz tighten the noose on the Red Sea, on Israel in the Suez Canal..."
Interviewer: "And you think that Saudi Arabia will have nothing to say about this? The Bab Al-Mandab Strait tightens the noose on its oil experts as well..."
Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini: "Saudi Arabia is a tribe on the verge of extinction. The Saudi ruler represents a tribe on the verge of extinction. This is what the top observers say. End of discussion... Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi is now the boss in Yemen, and he will become the boss of the Arabian Peninsula, and when this happens... Abd Al-Aziz Aal Saud used to say [to the Saudis]: 'When Yemen is weak, you are strong, and when Yemen is strong, you are weak.' He said when he established Saudi Arabia in 1923. Now the tables have turned. Now the Yemenis have become strong, while the Saudis have become weak. I am not talking about wealth, arms, or international relations, but about the making of geo-politics and history. We are in the middle of a transformation. A third world war has begun..."
Interviewer: "According to an American report, by 2050, Yemen will control the Arab region."
Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini: "Absolutely. All of this began at the gates of Damascus... What changed the map was the steadfastness of the Syrian people and army, of Hizbullah, and of the Iranians in Damascus, when they prevented the fall of the city on September 3, 2013. Obama drank from the goblet of poison three times: at the gates of Damascus, at the wall of Gaza, and on the outskirts of Baghdad. Today, he is drinking from it for the fourth time – this time in Sanaa...[Obama] wants to return to the region, but in a new guise and with new tactics. However, it is too late for that. You cannot return to the region, Obama – not you nor anyone else."
Interviewer: "Then who will take charge?"
Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini: "We in the axis of resistance are the new sultans of the Mediterranean and the Gulf. We in Tehran, Damascus, [Hizbullah's] southern suburb of Beirut, Baghdad, and Sanaa will shape the map of the region. We are the new sultans of the Red Sea as well."