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Bahrain, Kuwait lash out at Iranian statements

Kuwaiti official says the region has seen enough wars, stresses need for peace with Iran

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain and Kuwait have lashed out at remarks made seperately by Iranian officials, saying that they amounted to unacceptable interference in their domestic affairs.

In Manama, the foreign ministry rejected Iranian claims that chemical gas was used during unrest.

“We condemn the false allegations made by Hussain Amir Abdul Lahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, in Moscow and in which he made claims about Bahrain using poisonous gas,” the ministry said.

“We are deeply astonished at the false allegations that aim to cover up the catastrophic situation in Iran and the disastrous and tragic economic conditions suffered by the brotherly people of Iran. We stress that the globally recognised reforms launched by King Hamad in 2001 will continue for the sake of a Bahraini society that enjoys freedom, democracy and respect for human rights,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

The ministry confirmed its “steady and firm” rejection of any interference in the kingdom’s domestic affairs, saying that it represented “an encroachment on its sovereignty.”

“We call on the Iranian government and on officials to immediately stop allegations and statements on Bahrain’s domestic affairs and to abide by diplomatic norms and the principles of good neighbourliness,” the ministry said.

In Kuwait City, a senior foreign ministry official said that Kuwait rejected any foreign interference in its domestic affairs.

“Kuwait’s foreign policy is based on not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and on the rejection of any foreign interference in its domestic and internal affairs,” Mohammad Al Mojran Al Roumi, the head of the Asia directorate at the foreign ministry said.

The official was reacting to comments by the Iranian leader’s top military aide Yahya Rahim Safavi who this week said that the Arab Gulf states were spending billions of dollars to buy weapons in order to serve US and Israeli interests in the region.

Al Roumi said that relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Iran should be positive.

“This region has been through three consecutive wars and that is enough,” the Kuwaiti official said. “There has been massive loss of life and waste of money and the wars have had a terribly negative impact on the economy and the environment. We want to live in peace with all neighbouring countries, including Iran,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti Arabic daily Al Watan.

Statements and remarks by Iranian officials should serve bilateral relations, Al Roumi said.

“We want these statements to help promote peace in the Arabian Gulf so that the region is spared further wars, especially that we hear good things about our relations from Iranian officials,” the Kuwaiti official said.