For Yemen Post
The present situation in Yemen can be best described as "The Emperor has new Clothes and "the Rape of Yemen" and UN providing the cover.
Possible Turkey fallout and Iran advances are not necessarily related.
The most important point for understanding is: The Timing
26th February 2013 is the final round of negotiations with Iran over it's enrichment programme with the West, i.e. UN Security council members + 2 and Iran.
Both parties are in strong position.
It is believed that a negotiated settlement can be reached.
In ancient times, Yemen and Iran teamed up in what is known in history as "Yemeni – Arabo – Iranian Civilization" for exploring of the Indian Ocean. One such example is example is the Sultanate of Kilwa, off Tanzanian coast, Lamu, off Kenyan coast is another, another are the "Navayats of Bathkal, off Indian coast, who are of Hadhrami Iranin stock.
It is in the best interest of Yemen to adopt a pragmatic attitude, and formulate a careful - pragmatic policy - towards Iran. Times may change and Iran may become an important trading or investment partner again.
The questions which are central for understanding the present situation are
Safe passage via Bab Al Mandab, which Yemen overlooks, but does not control, does not derive any financial benefits
Check upon Iran
and secure (grab) oil + gas resources which are believed in the Gulf of Aden
In 18 century Great Britain become the dominant power in the Indian Ocean and occupies Aden, and with other colonial power, namely France in Djibouti controls the access and passage of Bab Al Mandab.
In what was known as "North Yemen" prior 26th September, 1962, it was under rule of Yemen, under "Saudi sphere" of interest. The imam maintains are secret agreement with Israel from the very beginning of existence of Israeli state for securing the Red sea supply route.
With rise Nasser in Egypt and his support to 26th September, 1962 revolution, Israel directly (militarily) intervenes in the subsequent Yemen civil war.
A secret alliance was forced where by Saudi Arabia provided the funds, Israel weapons and the British organization. This alliance remained in place, and who ever wanted to remain in power in North Yemen had to comply.
This alliance also has much to do with understanding of present events in Yemen.
Reference: Dana Adam Smith: Yemen – the Unknown War (the author is American- Jewish journalist and provides the best account of the civil war in Yemen
The War that Never Was, Memoirs of a British Intelligence officer.
With the departure of British from Aden, we enter the era of Cold war.
The Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen comes into existence with backing of Soviet Union. The PDRY was established as "carrier of social revolution" on the Arabian Peninsula, having its parallel in the north of the Arabian peninsula, in Syria.
The Soviet Union maintains a military base in Socotra, has Somalia in it`s sphere of interest, (which practical controls the entrance into the Red sea), Ethiopia, and maintains another military base on Dahlak islands. It advocates a confederation between Ethiopia and South Yemen.
The first crack in the two super powers game for control of Bab Al Mandab and access to the Red sea was in 1986 when Hunt Oil begun exploring North Yemen`s oil reserves and Americans managed to send to Ali Nasser Mohammed large amount of weapons. In aftermath a civil war took place, Ali Nasser takes refugee in North Yemen.
Reference: Gerard de Villiers: "Coup d`Etat au Yemen" (in French) 1986.
With demise of Soviet Union, Yemen is "allowed" to unity, and Eritrea comes into existence, Somalia disintegrates. Israel – in a bilateral agreement with the new country - takes over the Soviet base on Dahlak islands.
However, not all Southerners were for unity, especially the "military wing" of the Socialist party. This came into open, when they requested social reforms which resulted in 1994 civil war, which essential was – the military takeover of the Southern part, and also its resources. USA takes over the Soviet base in Socotra.
What President Hadi is doing –he has been awarding those Southerners who in 1990 spoke out for unity. In this respect, he deserves credit.
Who controls Bab al Mandab today, i.e. access to the Red Sea as world most important supply route:
USA: 3 bases in Yemen, Hodeidah, Anad, and Socotra
Djibuti: French/ USA
Eritrea unilaterally Israel
+ militarization of strategic water way: Gulf of Aden
India with Israel maintains a military base in Oman.
Here is an excerpts from New York Times
"Babl Al-Mandab gained additional strategic importance as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. The US has developed significant military and intelligence centers in Djibuti and Somalia as part of its efforts to prevent attacks from Al-Qaeda I the Bab Al-Mandab region."
The original "secret alliance" (Saudi Arabia, Israel, the British) is upgraded into so called NATO Middle East, includes also Germans and French.
Most of the substantial oil and gas resources are located off shore, in the Gulf of Aden. They were originately found and located by former Soviet Union, but the information was withheld. It surfaced only few years ago.
It is believed that concession contracts are already divided, in which case Turkey with its soft policy and support comes as the "spoiler of the game" and need to be put out of the game. .
Another point which is very important and needs to be explored, is:
What provisions, concessions, assurances, guarantees were given by the former regime for a possible attack on Iran. It is believed they include granting of air and sea space.
Here is another point worth considering:
With the fall of Gadaffi in Libya, an UN sponsored team lead by Germans is exploring his large store of weaponry, many of North Korean and Iranian origin.
They apparently include missiles, chemical and nuclear weapons, possibly weapons of mass destruction, etc.
Gadaffi used to send them all over the world for variety of causes, and the German lead team has been exploring to whom they were send, where they were used. Apparently, there is a substantial lead to Yemen (Sadah war). .
In addition there is a bilateral agreement in place with the German government and Yemeni government to monitor the entire Yemeni coast and Horn of Africa for illegal weapons and drugs, etc. It is technical impossible during the Yemeni transitional period bring in weapons.
It seems unlikely that there is a full scale Iranian invasion in making.
But it is much more likely that it goes for an attempt of a much talked over coup.
The weaponry may be from the Gadaffi`s storage or former President`s storage.
WHAT YEMEN CAN DO
CCG is for now an acceptable road map
Here are some further suggestions:
President Hadi is the man of the houer; he should be further empowered by "peoples
power" to be able to make necessary balance with outside powers in the best interest of Yemeni people
Bring in the youth
Bring in young Yemeni professional individuals
Disturb or further dismantle the network of the old regime
Start authentic development movement in the fashion of Sana`a cleaning action"
Limit the role of UN
Propose demilitarization of Bab Al Mandab and Gulf of Aden as "zone of peace" , accessible to all
Work out a methodology, what is specific to Yemen and what challenges faces Yemen in the international arena