For nearly a year now, Saudi Arabia has been bombarding its southern neighbor, Yemen, while diverting the world’s attention toward Iran. Saudi military forces invaded Bahrain using this very tactic and have been aiding extremist forces in Syria and Iraq, all while pointing the finger at the Islamic Republic.
With the help of its extensive media machine, Riyadh has continued to push the line that it is engaged in a “confrontation” with Iran, and still finds an audience for this message in the West, regardless of its own actions. This same media machine is now using passing remarks on developments in the Middle East by Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, as a pretext to accuse Tehran of having military intentions in regards to Yemen. Speaking before reporters on Feb. 2, Velayati stated in response to a question about the possibility of a Saudi-Turkish ground operation in Syria that the Saudis “can’t do more than what they have done in Yemen. They have used all of their capabilities and still haven’t been successful." He added, “Which force does Saudi Arabia have that it has kept behind the scene and which it hasn’t used? If it has such a force, it should use it so as to not lose face in Yemen.” However, the one remark by Velayati that caused a stir in Arab media was the comment that "the domain of cooperation between Iran and Russia [extends to] Iraq [and] Lebanon, and I predict that in the future it will also include Yemen."