The minimum you must know


Iran (traditionally a security competitor of the United States) and Saudi Arabia (traditionally an ally of the United States) are regional superpowers supporting opposite sides of a civil conflict in Yemen.


Saudi Arabia and Iran have made phenomenal progress on peace with each other after Russia hosted leaders from both countries in Moscow, and because of years of rhetorical outreach for peace between the governments. The populations of the countries also get along well. Tens of thousands of Saudi Arabians & Iranians pray peacefully together every year at the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian and Iranian governments may now be achieving so much progress towards peace with one another that they can work together effectively to help Yemen.


Yemen borders Saudi Arabia and is easily reached from Iran. There has been substantial internal conflict there (of no fault of Saudi Arabia’s, and of no fault of Iran’s), because poverty led to instability. Opposing sides in Yemen say they want different leaders there. One prefers a new parliamentary democracy similar to Iran's, and the other a president very friendly with Saudi Arabia. But peace is so important to the country that perhaps everyone involved will support calm internal relations and cooperation among all involved. The Yemen people can work together to receive international support.


The often stated position of both the Iranian and Saudi Arabian governments is that the opposing sides must resolve all differences peacefully. Both governments are insisting on calm. They're encouraging all other United Nations member states to join with them in providing humanitarian assistance. Clearly Iran & Saudi Arabia have a shared interest in stability. Iran and Saudi Arabia don’t want their relationship to be determined by unpredictable events in an impoverished neighboring country.

The King of Saudi Arabia insists on Peace for Yemen


The President of Iran insists on peace for Yemen

Yemen is suffering from malnutrition and consequently disease. The population is in greater need of more humanitarian aid than virtually any other country. Hundreds of thousands of people are starving and tens of millions of people are food insecure. The Yemen people need their basic needs met for there to be stability in the country. Meeting their needs may also contribute to stability in the relationship between Iran & Saudi Arabia. Both the Iranian & Saudi Arabian governments have individually given more generously to support the Yemen people than all other governments combined. It's therefore an important opportunity for other countries to follow their lead. One possible goal of peace talks for Yemen therefore might be to organize assistance for the country from other member states of the United Nations.


According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "Yemen’s peace process is (hopefully) just beginning," and the international community can help.

August 12, 2021


Some peace talk participants at the United Nations also want a food-for-guns or products-for-guns program to eventually be successful as the country becomes continuously peaceful, especially as the international community works together to make sure there are ample opportunities for citizens there to participate in the global economy.


What can be done to create a growing economy in Yemen?