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Jeremy Corbyn makes a stand on Saudi Arabia

Updated on September 19, 2017
May government selling arms to Saudi
May government selling arms to Saudi | Source
Vocal opposition to Saudi Arabia
Vocal opposition to Saudi Arabia | Source

Corbyn's opposition to Saudi Arabia.

Jeremy Corbyn has been quite vocal in his opposition to the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. The British government is selling the latest high-tech weapons to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

These weapons like planes, for example, are then being used in Saudis war with Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Saudis back the Yemeni government in exile while the Saudis regional rivals Iran back the Houthi side it is alleged.

Jeremy Corbyn has made his views known before the Labour Party Conference kicks off in Brighton this month. KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) has been accused of bombing targets disproportionately in the Yemen conflict where civilians are often killed and injured. Of course, both sides in the conflict are responsible for death and destruction but it would appear the Saudi coalition ranged against the Houthi rebels has the high-tech advantage when Western nations are selling them the best weapons in their arsenals.

The war has been running for two years now and many areas of the country are running out of food, medical supplies, fresh drinking water etc. Consequently, especially in the Houthi areas, this lack of basic amenities is creating disease and poverty on a grand scale.

Corbyn has suggested that a political process as with many conflicts is the only way forward. Of course, he is right but just getting these bitterly opposed sides to sit down and negotiate would be a feat in itself.

The Yemen war, as opposed to the Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani war, does not get much coverage in the media. You will occasionally get the odd bulletin as it were yet compared to Syria for example coverage of Yemen is minimal.

Certainly, Mr Corbyn's stance shames the May government who like many western regimes are afraid of upsetting the Saudis and are reliant on them as customers for their latest weapons.

The Labour Party Conference this year will be held in Brighton but representatives from the Arab League are boycotting the event. They will not this year be holding their annual reception and buffet dinner because of Corbyn's opposition to the British government selling arms to the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and the Saudis conduct of the war in Yemen.

Where the two rival nations stand on the map

Map showing the nations of Iran and Saudi Arabia
Map showing the nations of Iran and Saudi Arabia | Source

Regional Power Rivalry

The cold war as it could be called between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran ideologically goes back a thousand years or more. Saudi is a Sunni regime and Iran Shia and both branches of Islam split over who should succeed the Prophet Mohammed on his death.

So the two branches of Islam went their separate ways and despite the schism, the two types of Muslims have lived in harmony virtually ever since.

However, this has caused to some extent the rivalry between the nations because of the Sunni regime of KSA and the Shia government of IRI.

Strong words, the cutting of diplomatic ties and them being on different sides in wars in the Middle East has led to this cold war. Israel and Palestine is a bleeding wound in the Middle East adding to the already tense situation in the Middle East and it seems every nation on this earth has a vested interest in this part of the world.


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