Manama: Bahrain has condemned a statement by an Iranian minister as flagrant interference in its internal affairs and unprecedented behaviour in relations between sovereign countries.
“The irresponsible statements contravene the principles of the United Nations, the international law and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which all advocate utter respect of all countries’ sovereignty and independence,” Hamad Al Amer, Undersecretary for Regional Affairs and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said.
The official was reacting to a statement by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hussain Amir-Abdollahian in which he criticised a search operation conducted by the police in the house of Eisa Qassim, a leading religious scholar, in Duraz, a village west of the capital Manama. “If you do not apologise for this improper act, you should expect an unexpected reaction,” the Iranian official was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
Bahrain police had explained that the search operation did not target a specific house or a specific person.
“A police patrol in Duraz was attacked by a suspect with a homemade gun that injured two policemen,” Tareq Al Hassan, the Chief of Public Security, said. “The Counter-Terrorism Unit was called in to track down the shooter. As part of the investigation, a vehicle thought to be the suspects’ car was found parked near several homes. The area was cordoned off and a search for the terrorists inside those homes was conducted. The operation did not target a particular house or a person. Our main aim was to seize the car and to arrest the suspects that had originally led investigators to the area.”
Al Amer on Saturday evening said that the Iranian behaviour towards Bahrain was unacceptable.
“Senior Iranian officials and on a daily basis talk about Bahrain more than they do about their country’s policy and interests or about their people’s untenable economic and social plight”, Al Amer said, in a statement issued by the foreign ministry and carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
He said that top Iranian officials “repeated the same mantra daily to cover up the dire plight of their people, who have been reeling since 1979 under the yoke of blatant injustice and a tyrannical rule which strips them of their basic right to decent life”.
Al Amer rapped Iranian officials for being “irresponsibly adamant on making threats and issuing warnings round the clock”, saying that their behaviour had become “an essential component of their media strategy against Bahrain”.
The Bahraini official accused Iran of “flouting the principles of good neighbourliness and mutual respect of national sovereignty, an essential cornerstone in inter-state relations, in line with the principles of tolerant Islamic precepts and international norms”.
“We highly deplore the fact that senior Iranian officials continue to issue ominous threats and to pursue a campaign of political, religious and media incitement that Bahrain rejects in their slightest details,” Al Amer said.
The threats and the incitement campaign reflect Iranian expansionist designs that target an Arab country that is a member state of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Non-Alignment Movement, he said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran should understand that Bahrain pays no heed to such threats and that the development momentum in the Kingdom will continue unabated, based on the profound belief in its civilisation and people who stand united with their leaders to fulfil their hopes and aspirations for further freedom and progress,” he said.
Al Amer said that Bahrain, a country keen on promoting peace and understanding with all states in the region, considered the Iranian statement as a belligerent threat and a direct offence to the relations between the Islamic republic and the GCC countries.
He warned against the “dangerous repercussions of the Iranian belligerent policies on the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf and on the Arab world as well as on global security and stability”.