Yemeni children joined thousands of anti-government protesters yesterday demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Demonstrations were held in various Yemeni cities and towns demanding the trial of Saleh. Image Credit: Reuters/AP

Manama: A Bahraini criminal court will try a Bahraini and two Iranians on charges of spying for Iran's Revolutionary Guard on April 20.

The trio is accused of "intelligence contacts with a group of people working for a foreign country with the intention of undermining Bahrain's military, political and economic status and harming the nation's interests."

The court said that the three defendants who were not named had contacts from 2002 to April 2010 with Iran's Revolutionary Guard to provide them with military and economic information and data on military sites and industrial constructions in Bahrain in a bid to harm the country's national interests.

The defendants also requested money from the Revolutionary Guard in return for the military and economic information, the court said.

Kuwait ring

The trial of the two Iranians in Bahrain on espionage charges comes days after a criminal court in Kuwait condemned two Iranians and a Kuwaiti to death for their role in a spy ring busted by the Kuwaiti authorities in May 2010.

The verdict sparked angry remarks from Kuwait and strong denials from Iran and the two countries expelled diplomats in the ensuing row. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the existence of a spy network in Kuwait and said that there was nothing to spy on in the northernmost Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.

However, Kuwait's foreign minister insisted that the spy ring working for Iran was real. Several Kuwaiti MPs, angered by Tehran's reactions, have called for severing diplomatic ties.

GCC countries have been concerned about what they see as blatant Iranian interference in their domestic affairs, particularly after Tehran criticised Manama and Riyadh for the deployment of units from the Peninsula Shield, the GCC military arm, in Bahrain last month.