Iran's Nour News agency

The Saudi-Iranian Agreement in the Eyes of the Yemeni Parties


Sun, 12-03-2023 12:46 AM, Aden Time

Aden (South24)

Yemeni reactions varied between welcome and caution regarding the agreement sponsored by the Republic of China between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran last Thursday, after years of estrangement and mutual hostility between the two main powers in the Gulf region.

The Tehran-backed Houthi group was the first to welcome the agreement, according to its official spokesman and the head of its negotiating delegation Mohammed Abdel Salam. The senior Houthi official tweeted: "The region needs the return of normal relations between its countries, through which the Islamic nation can recover its lost security [..]".

For its part, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) welcomed the agreement. Ali Al-Kathiri, the STC's official spokesperson said: "The STC welcomes the agreement concluded between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran under the auspices of the People's Republic of China, which includes the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries."

The statement said that the STC "hopes that this will contribute to consolidating security and stability in our region and the world."

The statement pointed out, "Our welcome stems from a call previously made by President Aidrous Qassem Al-Zubaidi, through which he called on the brothers in Saudi Arabia and Iran to establish a dialogue and resume relationships among them."

Al-Zubaidi had called, in a televised interview on Russia Today (RT) channel in February 2021, for dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and said that any agreement between them would solve half of the region's problems.

Government reservation

On the other hand, the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the Saudi-Iranian move with reservations.

A statement published by Saba said, "The Yemeni government affirms its sincere belief in dialogue and resolving disputes through diplomatic and peaceful means. It also affirms the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and supports any serious and sincere approach that carries good intentions to achieve security and stability in the region."

He pointed out that the Yemeni government hopes "that the agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran will constitute a new phase of relations in the region, starting with Iran's cessation of interference in Yemeni affairs."

According to the Saudi SPA agency, China's Beijing hosted negotiations between Riyadh and Tehran between March 6-10, which led to the following agreement:

- Resuming diplomatic relations between the two countries and reopening their embassies and representations within a maximum period of two months.

- The two countries affirmed respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.

- The foreign ministers of the two countries will hold a meeting to activate this, arrange the exchange of ambassadors, and discuss ways to enhance relations between them.

- Activating the security cooperation agreement between the two countries, signed on 4/17/2001, and the general agreement for cooperation in the field of economy, trade, investment, technology, science, culture, sports and youth, signed on 5/27/1998.

Cinzia Bianco, a research fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Reuters that Riyadh was seeking security guarantees from the Iranians, which may have been provided through the reactivation of the 2001 security agreement.

She added that Iran may have also responded positively to Riyadh's calls for it to "push the Houthis towards signing a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, liberating the Saudis from the Yemen war, which has become a loss for them."

A truce in Yemen ended last October after the Houthis refused to extend it. Since then, Saudi Arabia has led intense direct dialogues with the Iranian-backed group. Riyadh sent a Saudi delegation to Sanaa last October, and it also received a Houthi delegation, according to informed sources to "South24 Center". 

Saudi Arabia intends to sponsor an imminent agreement between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, which it reached during bilateral talks with the Houthis, in isolation from the main actors in the internationally recognized government, notably the STC in South Yemen.

The Saudi-Iranian agreement would accelerate the conclusion of such a deal during the two-month period scheduled to test the intentions between Tehran and Riyadh.

The STC had repeatedly expressed its rejection of any agreement with the Houthis, dealing with the administration, security and future of South Yemen, without including it in these talks, according to the STC's senior official Amr Al-Bidh.

On Thursday, talks also began between the Yemeni government and the Houthis in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the file of prisoners under the auspices of the United Nations.


The Southern official in the STC Yahya Ghalib Al-Shuaibi believes that the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran is an "intelligence security agreement" signed by "the leaders of the intelligence system of the two countries." Therefore, "whoever managed the talks and signed the agreement will not allow speculation about the region's thorny files and what happened behind the scenes." In reference to the Yemen file.

However, Al-Shuaibi said in a tweet that "The appearance of the tripartite agreement is similar to the Sweden agreement [December 2018], which weakened the Yemeni government and removed the Houthi group from the status of a coup."

On the other hand, the member of the Houthi negotiating delegation, Abdulmalik Alejri, saw that the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran dropped Saudi Arabia's justifications for its intervention in Yemen, given the presence of an Iranian threat there.

The Chairman of South24 Center for News and Studies Ayad Qassem believes that the Saudi-Iranian agreement showed the extent of Saudi Arabia's insistence on resolving its issues by itself and only according to its primary interest.

"Saudi Arabia has sought in recent years to open direct dialogues with its regional opponents, starting with some Shiite groups in Iraq, and passing through understandings with the Houthi militia in Yemen," he added.

He believed that Iranian promises cannot be trusted at all and said "I do not think that such a rapprochement could succeed in the long run."

He wondered whether "Riyadh can lead the ambitions of its influence while fending off the threats of Iran's proxies at the same time at the expense of its traditional and current allies in the region."

South24 Center

YemenSaudi ArabiaIranSaudi Iranian AgreementChina