Press TV has interviewed Mark Weber, director of Institute for Historical Review in California, about Amnesty International calling on the United States, Britain and other countries that supply arms to Saudi Arabia to suspend all such transfers to the kingdom.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What do you make out of Amnesty’s report and what are the consequences of the US and other countries supplying Saudi Arabia with arms and weapons?
Weber: This announcement by Amnesty International is a very important one because it adds a lot of international attention to actions by Saudi Arabia which for months have been outrageous and contrary to international law in Yemen and elsewhere.
The Amnesty International statement is important because it comes just a week after a statement by the German intelligence agency, BND, saying that Saudi Arabia’s policies are, as they said, impulsive and by implication dangerous for the region and of course for the countries that are ... supporting Saudi Arabia.
The German intelligence agency had to retract its statement if they were criticized for making the statement but nonetheless Saudi Arabia is increasingly a problem, or an embarrassment is a better way to put it, for the United States and for Germany, and this latest statement by Amnesty International is a very important highlighting of a problem that has been building for some time now.
Press TV: There have been numerous reports of Saudi Arabia carrying out attacks against civilians and civilian targets, including schools and hospitals, but we have never seen any independent investigation being carried out. What is the possibility of that happening now?
Weber: A really independent investigation is unlikely but what usually happens in situations like this is that more and more reports will begin to accumulate, more and more people around the world will highlight this. What is really in a way a larger story is that already the alliance of Saudi Arabia with the United States and by extension with Europe is already long overdue for a major re-haul or a re-calibration as they like to say.
The alliance with Saudi Arabia is a left-over of the Cold War period. There is no really good reason now except for oil which is less important than it used to be for the United States and for Europe to have that kind of alliance which makes possible Saudi Arabia’s tremendous military power. Saudi Arabia has been very generously supplied by military equipment for decades by the United States allowing it to carry this out with the understanding that this was only supposedly used for defensive purposes.
Saudi Arabia is now carrying out policies which are contrary to not only the settlements but also the interest of countries around the world, including even the United States. So the pressure is going to build for a re-assessment everywhere above this I think.
Press TV: And how much do you think the countries that are actually supplying arms and ammunition to Saudi Arabia are accountable for what is going on in Yemen?
Weber: Of course the major supplier, the most important backer is the United States and the record of the United States of accountability for its actions has been a dismal one, the United States actions in Afghanistan or in Iraq or now in Syria as well its relationship with Saudi Arabia have been such. The United States has not been held accountable in any meaningful way because United States is so powerful. The United States is still the number one financial power, by far the largest military power and it is able to carry out policies which if any other country carried them out would be of course very strongly condemned. There will never be real consequences.