Involvement in Bahrain Attack Denied

Involvement in Bahrain Attack DeniedInvolvement in Bahrain Attack Denied

A deputy foreign minister rejected remarks by Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, linking Iran to the recent deadly bombing in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

In a message posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Sheikh Khalid suggested there was no difference between Sunni or Shia Islamist militants, adding, "Their goal is the same, and their reference point is Iran."

The blast outside a girls' school in the Shia village of Sitra, which was the first in Bahrain for several months, killed two policemen and wounded six. The state media said the explosives resembled some seized from two Bahrainis with alleged ties to Iran a few days before the bomb attack. Manama claimed the explosives were smuggled in from Iran.

"Bahrain's claims of arresting arms smugglers linked to Tehran are absolutely untrue," Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted by IRNA as saying on Thursday.

Condemning the terrorist act, Amir Abdollahian said the allegation of Iran's involvement was timed concurrent with the tour of Persian Gulf Arab countries by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week.

The spread of such propaganda, which coincides with the "constructive" and "positive" regional trip by Zarif, who was carrying positive messages for the region, and continued accusations against Iran have been intentional, he said.

On his two-day trip, Zarif met officials from Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq, in a gesture of goodwill to demonstrate that the Islamic Republic is keen to improve relations with regional countries after clinching a historic deal with major powers over its nuclear program on July 14 in Vienna.

"I recommend Bahrain's foreign minister to think of playing a positive and constructive role regarding the regional collective security and establishing national conciliation between the Bahraini government and nation rather than provoking religious conflict in Bahrain and in the region," Amir Abdollahian said.

"Continued systematic violation of human rights and intensified security crackdown will complicate the situation in Bahrain."

Sporadic violence in Bahrain has become the norm since mass pro-democracy protests were put down by the government in 2011.

Some Persian Gulf Arab states have long accused Tehran of interference in Arab affairs. Iran denies the charge.