Outspoken comments by veteran Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, in which he suggested that Saudi Arabia was “sinking in the swamp of Yemen” and praised Iran for its nuclear deal with international powers, have caused a stir across the Arab World.Speaking this week to Lebanon’s As - Safir newspaper, Heikal, a one - time confidant of Gamal Abdel Nasser who now says to be close to the country’s current leader President Abdel Fattah al - Sisi, suggested that Saudi Arabia was facing a crisis in Yemen that could have consequences for its own ruling system. “I do not know how and when the calamities of the Arab World will end. The disaster is that all of this is happening while Egypt is busy … the Saudis will sink in the swamp of Yemen, ” Heikal told the newspaper. Saudi Arabia is currently leading an Arab coalition that is conducting airstrikes in Yemen in support of government loyalists fighting Popular Committee and Shia Houthi. But Heikal compared the intervention negatively to Nasser’s support for the liberation movement against British rule in Yemen in the 1960s. “When Nasser interfered there, he had no adjacent borders. But the Saudis have constant demands and have taken over two provinces there. Yemen is exhausted and Saudi Arabia will inevitably be exhausted too, ” he said. “Saudi Arabia is in crisis, I do not know how it will end or evolve and how it will affect the ruling system. As for the alternatives, there are no alternatives!” Commenting on this month’s Iranian nuclear agreement, Heikal said that Saudi Arabia and the[Persian] Gulf states had been too weak to cause any trouble over the deal or complain to the Americans despite their concerns. “They consider signing the deal a betrayal[but] the UAE has taken a positive attitude for now. We’ll have to wait for their actions, rather than their words, as all of them fear Iran. ”Recommended:Saudi Arabia’s Game of Thrones in Yemen The senior Egyptian journalist further noted that, “Iran is the only regional country to resist against America,” adding elsewhere in his remarks that, “What has changed the conditions was Iran’s resistance, not [US President] Barack Obama.” Last week, following the July 14 conclusion of the nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, the Al Saud regime threatened to “resolutely” confront the Islamic Republic over any alleged “mischief” in the region. The nuclear conclusion was reached after marathon talks in the Austrian capital city between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. Heikal, the Egyptian journalist, referred to the planned review of the JCPOA in the US Congress and said much noise will be raised there over the agreement but will ultimately die down. He also claimed that Egypt seeks to move closer to Iran but “there are attempts to dissuade [Egyptian President] Abdel Fattah el-Sisi from [engaging in] close relations with Tehran.” But Anwar Eshki, a former adviser to the Saudi government and currently the director of the Middle East Centre for Strategic and Legal Studies, told Middle East Eye that Heikal was living in the past and had an interest in promoting Egyptian relations with Iran. Eshki said Heikal had also been closely associated with US intelligence during the Nasser era, an accusation that was previously lodged by Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour. “He is trying to address problems between Egypt and Saudi Arabia by pushing Egypt towards Iran,” said Eshki. Eshki said Iran had an interest in reaching out to Egypt in order to disrupt the unity that Arab states had shown in resisting Iranian meddling in Yemen. “Iran’s aim is to destabilise Yemen and other Arab countries, as has happened in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. But the coalition thwarted this so it is using its money to sow divisions in Egypt instead,” he claimed. Heikal’s interview caused waves on social media with the hashtag "Heikal is attacking Saudi Arabia" trending in the Arab World. The activist Amr Jamil claimed: “Heikal is one of the most famous liars the world ... he is who made the false leadership of Abdul Nasser and made him the champion in the defeat of 1967 ... senile old man.” Egyptian lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr tweeted: “Heikal's talk about Saudi Arabia represents the raw material for political dementia, and our brothers in Saudi Arabia have endured a lot of this dementia.” Palestinian political analyst Yasser al-Zaatrh said: “Heikal's interview was an attack on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and a surplus of praise for Iran and Nasrallah ... this is the mind of al-Sisi's political system.” And Amr Abdel-Hadi, a founding member of the Dammer Front, wrote: “Yesterday, Dahi Khalfan the godfather of Zayed attacked and threatened King Salman while today Heikal, the godfather of al-Sisi, attacked and threatened King Salman. Stay tuned for Iran-Sisi cooperation against the Gulf.”