Manama: Bahrain’s foreign minister has condemned a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman as an unwelcome interference in the kingdom’s domestic affairs.
On Friday, Hussain Jaber Ansari claimed that “security actions in Bahrain were an unsuccessful approach.”
However, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa slammed the remark,
“Does Hussain Jaber Ansari know that we are concerned about the security approach adopted by Iran towards the legitimate demands of the Iranian people?” Some people are good at projecting their own predicaments onto others,” the minister posted on his Twitter account.
In another tweet to his 253,000 followers on the microblog, Shaikh Khalid said that “Bahrain has been targeted since 2011 by Iran and its agents in the region in an unfair campaign of lies and deception.”
Relations between Bahrain and Iran have been deteriorating since 2011 after Manama accused Tehran of blatant interference in its domestic affairs.
In October, Bahrain presented a formal complaint against Iran to the United Nations Secretary General for its “blatant violations and its continued unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom.”
The complaint was presented by Shaikh Khalid during a meeting with Ban Ki-moon, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Iran has chosen the path of escalation in an attempt to exert control over its neighbours by continuing to interfere in their internal affairs, the exploitation of extremist groups, the provision of safe haven to fugitives, the opening of training camps for terrorist groups, and the smuggling arms and explosives, Shaikh Khalid said.
Hostile activities have resulted in citizens, expatriates and security personnel becoming the targets of murder and criminal acts that have so far claimed 16 lives from security personnel and injured 3,000, the ministry said.
The ministry accused Iran of “continued interference in the affairs of Bahrain without any legal deterrent or moral limits, unlawful attempts and practices to create sectarian strife and to impose its hegemony and control over the entire region through reprehensible tools and means that are not limited to offending statements from senior officials, but also include supporting subversion, terrorism and incitement to violence through misleading media campaigns.”
Iran also assisted terror groups in the smuggling of weapons and explosives, trained their members, and harboured fugitives from justice, the ministry said.
It also accused Iran of “repeated and blatant violation of all norms, laws and international conventions and principles of good neighbourliness and mutual respect, as well as of unacceptable infringement on the independence and sovereignty of Bahrain.”
In July, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that “the multifaceted Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain was totally unacceptable and did not conform to international norms that respect the values of good neighbourliness.”
The interference includd antagonistic political statements, the smuggling of explosives, weapons and ammunitions into the kingdom, the harbouring of fugitives and the use of Iranian military camps to train Bahrainis on terrorist acts that target innocent people, he said.
It also included orchestrating and launching constant and misleading propaganda campaigns against the Kingdom of Bahrain and its people to disseminate misinformation and false narratives about the kingdom, Shaikh Rashid added.
“Despite the adversity, Bahrain has been working to reinforce ties with Iran through a positive approach and has respected the ‘good neighbour’ approach,” he said in a statement.
“We say to the Iranians that you are involved in attempting to disrupt the security of Bahrain, that you have provided weapons and explosive training to Bahrainis, that you have exported the culture of terrorism to Bahrain and that whenever we make progress with our national stability, you purposefully provoke an escalation of violence in the Kingdom through your interference in our domestic affairs.”