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Iran rejects Bahrain’s claim of interference

Kingdom had recently called on GCC to take united stand against Tehran’s meddling

Gulf News

Tehran: Iran on Tuesday rejected accusations by the Gulf Cooperation Council of its interference in the group’s internal affairs and insisted that it stays away from domestic issues of other countries.

“Iran’s intervention in Bahrain’s affairs is a claim contrary to reality and it is made in order to escape from the real problems and will bear no results,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference. “We have not, are not, will not interfere in the domestic issues of any country,” he said.

Bahrain, one of the six GCC member states, at the weekend urged the council to stand united against Iran’s “interference”.

The GCC “looks forward towards better relations with Iran, but unfortunately the latter continues to interfere in their internal affairs,” said Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Al Khalifa.

“It is important for our countries to stand united against such interference” across the Gulf, Al Khalifa said.

Bahrain in February accused Iran of having formed a “terrorist cell” to incite violence in the kingdom.

Al Khalifa’s recent claim is the latest in a series of accusations against Iran that it backs activists demanding a greater say for the opposition in Bahrain’s politics.

Mehmanparast urged Bahrain “to seek correct solutions for its problems — which is listening to the legitimate demands of their own people instead of taking military and security action.”

Bahrain has witnessed intermittent political protests linked to opposition demands for a constitutional monarchy, with the unrest claiming at least 80 lives, according to international rights groups.

Aside from Bahrain, the GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman.