Manama: One day after presenting his credentials to King Hamad, Iran's new ambassador to Bahrain Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed he was a career diplomat, denying reports that he had a military background.
"I hold degrees in political studies from the Foreign Ministry College and I have been a specialist on Gulf affairs for 16 years. My latest assignment was to chair the committee on Iraqi affairs at the foreign ministry. I trust the confusion about my background was due to a mistranslation of my position," he told reporters yesterday .
Jasem Al Saeedi, a conservative MP, last month called on Bahrain's foreign ministry to reject Abdollahian's appointment, claiming his military background in Iraq could fuel tension and undermine bilateral relations.
Relations between Manama and Tehran suffered a setback in July after Kayhan editor Hussain Shariatmadari argued that Bahrain was an integral part of Iran.
The tension eased off after the foreign ministers of both countries said bilateral relations remained strong and would not be harmed by remarks, with Iran insisting they did not represent its official policy.
"I am keen on seeing that relations between Iran and Bahrain will continue to grow during my mission to Manama, particularly that there are many avenues for expansion of cooperation," Abdollahian said.