Britain’s Top Think Tank Funded by Bahrain Gov’t

Britain’s Top Think Tank Funded by Bahrain Gov’tBritain’s Top Think Tank Funded by Bahrain Gov’t

The International Institute of Strategic Studies, an influential UK diplomacy and security think tank run by prominent military, political, and business figures, has received over $38 million in secret donations from Bahrain.

IISS is a reputed UK think tank that positions itself as a leading global military and security research consultancy.

The donations, which the IISS received over the course of five years, were said to form around a quarter of the think tank’s budget, or over $7.6 million per year, a human rights group, Bahrain Watch said citing confidential documents it obtained in cooperation with the Guardian.

Money from the Bahrain government was received in large part under a secret memorandum of understanding between IISS head, John Chipman, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who had previously served as ambassador to the UK, Russia Today reported.

The IISS and Bahrain agreed to “take all necessary steps to keep confidential all classified information which is disclosed or obtained in relation to this MoU, and neither shall divulge such information to any third party”.

The leak comes amid UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s two-day trip to Bahrain to discuss post-Brexit trade with Persian Gulf leaders.

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