A dangerous Iranian escalation in the conflict in Yemen?

The Iranian leadership is sending two Iranian naval vessels into the military operations zone around Yemen’s waters in a step that could be seen by Saudi Arabia and her allies as provocative and escalatory.

A source within the Saudi MoD told 5 Dimension Consultants in Dubai “that while there is a belief within the MoD that the Iranian navy would not dare provoke a confrontation around Yemen’s waters, the “laws of unintended consequences” however could lead to an accidental confrontation.”

The security forces in Saudi already suspect a pro-Iranian element role in targeting Saudi police officers with frequent shootings, one of which was fatal (April 8). The MoD source added to 5 Dimensions “that they also believe that the Iranian vessels might be a ploy by the Iranians to distract the Saudi led collation from an Iranian clandestine operation to supply al-Houthis with weapons from Eritrea by sea.”

In analysing this 5 Dimensions asked their source what the Saudi MoD view was of the Iranian leaderships understanding of their actions and their intentions?

The reply was “the Iranian leadership continues to underestimate the resolve of the new Saudi leadership and still believes that the policies of the past decade apply, an attitude that it both misguided as well as dangerous.”

The 5 Dimensions team analyzing this believe “the Saudis appear to be determined to achieve their goals in Yemen despite the cost and without much regard for the consequences, as far as Iran is concerned. The fear is that the “law of unintended consequences” might ignite an accidental confrontation in the waters of Yemen that cannot be easily contained.”

They identified that the American and French navies are sending vessels to the area, with the probable intent of de-escalating any situation and added “However, the possibility of a clandestine military supply missions by the Iranians covered by a naval deployment could result in accidents that increase the likelihood of an escalatory event. Something that neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia desires.”

5 Dimension Consultants are experts in regional political and security matters and advise Security Media Publishing amongst others.

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