Manama: The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) yesterday called for the boycott of Iranian goods and products.

The BCCI said that the call to traders, entrepreneurs, companies and institutions was prompted by Iran's "blatant interference in Bahrain's domestic affairs and threats to the kingdom's national security".

"In the light of the deteriorating conditions of the region and the negative developments and based on our responsibility towards any foreign interference in Bahrain and targeting of its national security, sovereignty and independence and as a result of the regrettable incidents within Bahrain, the BCCI calls upon all traders, businesses, companies and establishments to boycott Iranian goods and products. It also calls for an end to the import and export businesses with Iran and to financial and monetary transactions with Iranian banks and companies," the BCCI said in a statement carried by the Bahrain News Agency.

The chamber also urged its counterparts in the GCC and all commercial and business chambers and unions in the Arab countries to show solidarity with the Bahraini move and boycott Iran's business community.

"It will be great support for the GCC countries as they deal with the relentless onslaught from Iran to divide their societies and spread sedition, discord and divisions," the BCCI said.


The boycott call is the latest development in the standoff between Iran and the Gulf countries, sparked by Tehran's stance in the political and security unrest that hit Bahrain in February and March. Manama accused Tehran of blatant interference in its domestic affairs. However, Iran has said it is morally supporting Bahrainis and not interfering in the country.

Saudi Arabia came under Tehran's harsh criticism after Saudi Arabia-led forces from the Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the GCC, drove into Bahrain under a GCC mutual defence agreement to help guard key installations.

Iran repeatedly referred to the presence of the GCC forces as an occupation of Bahrain and called for the troops to leave the island kingdom. The announcement in Kuwait City that Iran was behind a spy ring and that two Iranian nationals were sentenced to death for their role in espionage sparked a war of words between the two neighbours. Both Kuwait City and Teh-ran expelled diplomats.

Relations between Teh-ran and Abu Dhabi have been tense since Iran occupied the three UAE islands of Abu Mousa and Greater and Lesser Tunb.

Yesterday, General Hassan Firouzabadi, the chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, fuelled tension further by referring to the Arab Gulf countries as the "Arab dictatorial front" and by claiming that the Gulf, at the centre of dispute over its name, "belonged to Iran in the past, belongs to Iran now and will always belong to Iran".

"Instead of trying and failing to open an unworkable front against Iran, these dictators should relinquish power, end their savage crimes and let the people determine their own future," Firouzabadi was quoted as saying by the Iranian media.