Manama: Iran loomed large in Bahrain as two ministers issued statements accusing it of inciting violence in the kingdom and of meddling in its domestic affairs.
Sameera Rajab, the state minister for information affairs, said that Iran had not ceased its “political and ideological incitement campaigns against the kingdom.”
“The reports circulated on some Bahraini opposition websites alleging human rights violations in Bahrain are part of the campaigns,” she said.
The minister, in her statement to Quds Press and carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA) on Wednesday, said the Iranian policy was shocking, particularly that “Bahrain has always promoted friendship and good-neighbourly relations with all neighbouring states.”
Sameera, who also is the official spokesperson for the government, said that Iran was continuing its media campaigns and its political and ideological incitement against Bahrain through the Iranian media as well as through houses of worship and religious figures loyal to Iran.
“We receive such harm directly, and there are forces trying to spread chaos and violence in Bahrain. Their full allegiance is to welayat Al faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist),” she said, referring to the central axis of contemporary Shiite political thought that argues that states should be run by a leading Islamic jurist who provides political “guardianship” over the people.
The minister added that the reports that alleged the existence of human rights violations in Bahrain mere media fabrications and part of the anti-Bahrain campaigns.
“Claims there are systematic human rights violations in Bahrain are baseless and lack credibility and aim to attract the sympathy of international parties.”
She said that Bahrain was well ahead of several countries in the respect of human rights, and pointed out to the fact that Bahrain has recently received a delegation from the High Commission for Human Rights within the context of cooperation and training on human rights issues.
Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, the foreign minister, said that Bahrain refused to be the target of abuses.
“We do not accept any form of abuse from Iran,” Shaikh Khalid said. “Political issues keep changing quickly, and there are matters that consolidate relations and others that harm them. Bahrain throughout its ties with Iran has never issued any statement that required an Iranian response. Bahrain has always been on the defensive, and now under the current circumstances, we have to defend ourselves even more against Iran’s interference in our domestic affairs,” he said.
Relations between Manama and Tehran have plummeted to their lowest levels in decades following the dramatic events that occurred in Bahrain in February and March 2011.
Bahrain had accused Iran of interference in its domestic affairs, but Tehran had denied the charges.
Both capitals recalled their ambassadors for consultations, but while Bahrain reinstated its top diplomat in Tehran, Iran has left the embassy open, but without the ambassador.