Iran and Bahrain exchange threats of embassy closure
Iran said it will definitely close the Bahraini embassy in Tehran, if Bahrain follows through with recent musings to close the Iranian embassy in Manama.
Mehr News Agency quotes Hossein Sobhaninia of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, saying Bahrain will have committed “an irreparable error” if it shuts down the Iranian embassy “under pressure from the U.S. and Western governments.”
The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida reported on Tuesday that the Bahrain parliament has approved a bill to close down Iranian embassy in Manama, repossess the building and hand it over to government organizations.
Sobhaninia said Iran’s diplomatic offices should respond in kind to such developments in Bahrain and protect Iran's interests in the region.
He added that Bahrain and the Arab countries of the region should realize that “being influenced by the U.S. and the West is not in their interest.”
Bahrain has been facing popular protests over the past two months. In March, Bahrain called on its Gulf Cooperation Council partners to assist it in crushing the protests. Saudi and UAE troops are in Bahrain to take part in widespread crackdowns.
Iran has condemned the presence of foreign troops in Bahrain and called on the Sunni monarchy to heed the demands of the protesters, who mostly come from Bahrain’s Shiite majority.
The tension between Iran and Bahrain has spread through the region, with Bahrain and the GCC accusing Iran of interfering in their internal affairs. Kuwait has accused Iranian diplomats of spying in their country and expelled a number of them for this charge.
Iran has denied all Kuwaiti charges and Bahraini accusations and insists there are no ulterior motives behind its support for protesters in Bahrain. Iran says it is only motivated by its moral duty and concern for human rights violations in the Island Monarchy.