Manama: Bahrain has condemned Iran’s interference in its domestic affairs, insisting that Tehran should instead focus on ending the suffering of its people and ensuring better living conditions.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the recurrent provocative statements by the Iranian officials against the Kingdom of Bahrain and categorically rejects any form of interference in the kingdom’s domestic affairs,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The condemnation is in reference to the last of such interference; the statement given by Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman in which she voiced concern over Bahrain’s revocation of the nationality of some individuals and what she allegedly described as continued arrest of political and religious figures,” the ministry said in a statement.
On Monday, Marzieh Afkham said there was “deep concern over Bahrain’s recent move to revoke citizenships.”
Bahrain’s interior ministry on Saturday published a list of 72 names whose nationality has been revoked over ‘intelligence, security, terrorism and allegiance issues’.
The ministry said that the decision was based on Article 10C of the Bahrain Citizenship Law that stipulates that the citizenship of Bahrain may be revoked “from whoever enjoys such nationality if he causes harm to the security of the State.”
Information Minister Eisa Abdul Rahman said that most of those who were stripped of their nationality did not live in Bahrain and that some of them were involved with terrorist organisations that are banned in Bahrain.
Bahrainis recognised some of the names as active supporters of the Daesh terrorist group.
In its rejection of the Iranian remarks, the foreign ministry said that “such statements that lack credibility and intentionally include erroneous portrayal of events fall within Iran’s permanent attempts to escape from its local troubles and internal crises.”
“Iran cannot represent by any means, any inclination towards the improvement of Tehran’s relations with the neighbouring countries. They rather embody the usually unacceptable Iranian meddling in other states’ internal affairs,” the ministry said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is not qualified to offer guidance with regard to rights and liberties because it is still far away from commitment to these principles and values. Iran represents the worst model in discrimination among citizens, while the Kingdom of Bahrain is considered an exemplary model in terms of equality and the equitable enforcement of the law on all the people, without the slightest discrimination or segregation.”
The ministry said that Iran should “immediately stop issuing such statements and throwing accusations,” and urged it “to respect the sovereignty of other states and not to interfere in others’ internal affairs.”
“Instead, it would be better if Iran paid attention to its citizens and worked on providing them with an acceptable level of living, did not turn its back on their crises or accentuated their sufferings,” the ministry said.
Relations between Bahrain and Iran have plummeted to their lowest level in 2011 when the two countries pulled their ambassadors in March.
However, Manama reinstated its top diplomat in the Iranian capital in August 2012 whereas Tehran has not appointed a chief for its diplomatic mission that remains open in the Bahraini capital.