Bahrain Diplomat Expelled in Reciprocal Action

Bahrain Diplomat Expelled in Reciprocal ActionBahrain Diplomat Expelled in Reciprocal Action

The Foreign Ministry on Friday declared Bahrain's second-ranking diplomat in Tehran persona non grata and gave him 72 hours to leave the country, a day after Bahrain withdrew its ambassador.

"According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Tehran has given Bassam al-Dosari 72 hours to leave Iran," Fars News Agency reported.

On Thursday, Bahrain withdrew its ambassador from Tehran and expelled Dosari's Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Reza Babaei, from Manama, accusing Iran of being behind recent bomb attacks on the island kingdom's security forces.

Iran denies any involvement in political violence in Bahrain, which has been the scene of protests since the 2011 uprising in which the Shia majority demands political reforms from the Sunni ruling family.

Commenting on the developments, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, "Bahraini officials have been faced with problems in their country over the past few years and should try to find a way out of the current situation instead of adopting diversionary tactics."

He also said, "Bahrain has many times leveled various accusations against Iran, and the expulsion of the Iranian charge d'affaires indicates the magnitude of Bahrain's political challenges… But Bahrain's internal problems can only be resolved through national dialogue involving all parties."

The senior diplomat stressed, "Tehran has never interfered and will never interfere in Bahrain's internal affairs."  

He said Iran took "reciprocal action" to expel the second-ranking diplomat at Bahrain's Embassy, noting, "Iran expects the Bahrainis to act sensibly."