Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supporting Ansar Al-Sharia in Yemen
Saudi Arabia has made claims that that Iran supports Ansar Al-Sharia in Yemen, according to analyses and research papers from Saudi researchers in academic centers in Al-Riyadh.
The analyses were based on the enormous demands of Ansar Al-Sharia in negotiating with the Saudi authorities to release Al-Khaledi.
The huge ransom demanded by Ansar Al-Sharia to release Al-Khaledi was an attempt to deceive the Saudi authorities to make them believe that Ansar Al-Sharia is in need of money, according to Ibraheem Al-Nahas, a a professor of political science at King Saud University in Al-Riyadh.
“However, Iran is in fact supporting them [Ansar Al-Sharia] financially and recruiting them in Yemen,” he added.
“The recruitment of Ansar Al-Sharia in Yemen requires huge amounts of money and this money is given to them by Iran,” Al-Nahas said in a report to Al-Riyadh Newspaper on Monday.
“Iran supports Ansar Al-Sharia financially, but secretly, because they don't want the militants of Ansar Al-Sharia to break from their own leaders because of the differing views between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Ansar Al-Sharia,” he said.
“The demands of Ansar Al-Sharia to release Islamist fighters,” whom he described as followers of an extremist ideology, “in exchange for the abducted diplomat aimed at inciting public opinion against Saudi Arabia,” he pointed out.
Ansar Al-Sharia wanted to pass on a message to the public that there are illegal detainees in the prisons of Saudi Arabia. However, such claims are false, according to Al-Nahas.
“Iran is encouraging Ansar Al-Sharia to kidnap more Saudi diplomats to force Saudi Arabia to accept anything they demand. This will make Saudi Arabia very weak, and this is what Iran wants,” he added.
“Iran accepts terrorism and supports terrorists financially and intellectually, even through its security agencies by interfering in the Gulf, supporting the Houthis in Yemen, and supporting Al-Qaeda operatives when they fled from Afghanistan,” Al-Nahas said.
“The prominent leaders of Al-Qaeda live in Tehran in spite of their Sunni beliefs, different from Iran's Shiite beliefs,” he concluded.
A Saudi extremist, thought to be linked to Al-Qaeda, fled to Yemen and kidnapped Al-Khaledi.
He threatened to execute Al-Khaledi unless the Saudi authorities release militants connected to Ansar Al-Sharia from Saudi prisons along with a huge ransom, according to announcements from Saudi authorities last week.
“I expect that Al-Khaledi will be released in the coming hours,” said Tariq Al-Fadli, a tribal sheikh in Yemen's south and a leader of the Southern movement, last Wednesday.
“However, the talks to release Al-Khaledi broke off when the Yemeni Air Forces struck members of the militant group suspected of holding him,” added Al-Fadli.
Al-Fadli affirmed that they are facing difficulty in contacting the kidnappers after the air attack.
According to Al-Fadli, the Saudi diplomat is being held in Jaar, a town under the control of Ansar Al-Sharia, approximately 150 kilometers east of Aden.