Bahrain's King Hamad
Bahrain's King Hamad (R), pictured in May 2012. © Fayez Nureldine - AFP/File
Bahrain's King Hamad
Alborz Habibi
Last updated: January 25, 2013

‏Top Iranian diplomat denies interference in Bahrain, and criticizes the kingdom's rulers

Iran‪'‬s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdullahia‪,‬ denied claims from Bahrain that Tehran is meddling in the tiny Persian Gulf island's affairs, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Friday.‏

"‬If Iran had the least intervened in Bahrain affairs, the situation would have been in another shape,” the report quoted the senior official Hossein Amir Abdullahian as saying.

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Bahrain's Sunni Muslim rulers have repeatedly accused Iran of meddling in their internal politics. Pro-democracy protests led by the Persian Gulf kingdom's Shi'ite Muslim majority first erupted in February 2011 as uprisings took place in several Arab countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

‏‪“The ‬Bahraini people's movement is downright internal,” Abdullahian said. “Claims of Iranian interference in Bahrain's developments are incorrect and bringing up such topics is an insult to the clear-headed people of Bahrain, who have been patiently pursuing their civil demands in a democratic and peaceful way and have faced the regime's crackdown, killings, threat and dismissal from their job instead of gaining attention.”

‏Abdullahian called on the Bahraini government to stop using “deadly chemical gases” against their people and end “the military conditions”. The uprising in Bahrain has strained the relations between Iran and its Arab neighbor in the Persian Gulf, with both countries expelling one another's ambassadors.

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Saudi and United Arab Emirates forces joined the Bahraini government's crackdown on the uprising in 2011 - a move condemned by Iran.

“‬The solution for Bahrain's (uprising) is political and based on real dialogue and negotiation and Islamic republic supports this method,” he added.

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