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World upset by Saudi Arabia’s crimes: Analyst

US Senator Chris Murphy speaks at a news conference in Capitol Hill, January 27, 2016. (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed Saeed Shehabi, a political commentator in London, about an influential US senator who questioned Washington’s unwavering support for Saudi Arabia despite the regime’s backing of extremist ideology and its military offensive in Yemen.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.


Press TV: I guess it is better late than never when you have US senators coming out talking about this alliance and how there is another side to it but what good would that do if the US continues with the support of Saudi Arabia whether it is through arms sales or through the wars that Saudi Arabia is waging in the region?

Shehabi: I agree with you better late than never if it comes really late it is okay but the problem is that is it going to come? Is the American foreign policy going to change with regards to the Saudis and the other [Persian] Gulf allies? Are they going to tell, today or tomorrow, are they going to tell Saudi Arabia enough is enough?  We cannot tolerate anymore this funding and support for extremism and terrorism. Are they going to tell them stop the war on Yemen? Are they going to tell them withdraw your troops, your occupational troops from Bahrain?

Of course if they do that then we would say okay, you were not aware of what the Saudis were doing before, now you are doing the right thing by cutting off all the support for this murderous and reactionary regime.

The problem is that are they going to change the foreign policy? What I heard two days ago from the foreign minister here at the Foreign Office in [the] UK following the revelation of the United Nations experts’ report on Yemen, on war crimes in Yemen, what he said is that oh yes, I am going to sit down with the senior politicians of Saudi Arabia and talk to them. What does that mean? This is nothing. I thought he would say yes, we will abide by those resolutions, by that report of the United Nations, we will stop our support to Saudis in their war on Yemen and we will tell them to stop immediately their support to extremism, fanaticism and sectarianism.

Press TV: So when it comes down to this relationship, when do you think that given this particular piece of news that we are going to see perhaps some cracks in this relationship from this point forward or are we just looking at some criticisms just like when 9/11 happened knowing that Saudi nationals were involved and then continue?

Shehabi: Well I think there may be some change. I do not dismiss the possibility that there will be a review of what can be done with the Saudis because the world is upset, the whole world not just America, Europe, France, everywhere. Now Saudis are supporting [the groups] which are working and occupying Libya of course in addition to Syria, Iraq and Yemen.   

So I think there will be some change. However, how much that change is going to be will depend on whether President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are going to really protect, whether they are willing to protect the interest of their own nationals, of their own strategic interests because they must understand that this war that is being waged by the Saudis whether in Yemen or in Syria or in Libya, is not going only to affect the Muslims or the Shias but they are going to affect the whole world.

So I hope they will hit the goal for an immediate ceasing of support to this reactionary and extremist regime.

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