Bahrain Court's Ruling on Al-Wefaq Unconstructive

Bahrain Court's Ruling on Al-Wefaq UnconstructiveBahrain Court's Ruling on Al-Wefaq Unconstructive

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said a decision by a Bahraini court to dissolve the Arab country's main Shia opposition movement, Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, is unconstructive.

The administrative court in Manama on Sunday ordered the dissolution of Al-Wefaq and the seizure of its funds after the Bahraini Justice Ministry had suspended the opposition group's activities on June 14.

"Such measures will open the way for those who are after non-civilian approaches," Bahram Qasemi said on Sunday, Press TV reported.

He noted that the court's decision to dissolve the bloc was in line with efforts to mount pressure on moderate figures and societies in Bahrain.

"Such measures by the Bahraini government indicate that they [officials] do not seek to solve the ongoing problems and such acts will further complicate the situation," he said.

  Not in Manama's Interest

Qasemi emphasized that the dissolution of moderate societies and revocation of the citizenship of political and religious leaders respected by the Bahraini people would not serve the interests of the country's government. He urged Bahraini officials to avoid violent approaches and adopt confidence-building measures to prepare the ground for serious and constructive talks in the country.

The dissolution of Al-Wefaq, the latest move in a wide crackdown on political dissent in Bahrain, is likely to prompt more protests in the country, whose embattled government has faced an uprising since 2011.

Various human rights organizations had already condemned the suspension, labeling it as part of a new crackdown on dissent.

Al-Wefaq's secretary-general, Sheikh Ali Salman, has been in prison since December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers, charges he has denied.

Sheikh Issa Qassim, spiritual leader of the group, has also been stripped of his Bahraini citizenship over similar accusations. On Saturday, the public prosecutor in Bahrain said the cleric will go on trial early next month on charges of "illegal fund collections and money laundering", without providing an exact date.

Since February 2011, pro-democracy protesters have held numerous demonstrations, calling for political reforms and a greater role for the majority Shia community.

In March 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the UAE were deployed to the country to help in the crackdown on peaceful protests.