Detaining Bahraini Opposition Leader Imprudent

Detaining Bahraini Opposition Leader Imprudent Detaining Bahraini Opposition Leader Imprudent

A foreign ministry official criticized Manama for detaining prominent Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and described the move as "impulsive" and "imprudent".

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, "The wrong policy of crackdown and violence in Bahrain will prompt the country's opposition to distance themselves from democratic methods, which will not be in the interest of Bahrain's security and the region," adding, "Bahrain will not be able to put up with the consequences of this move (the detention of Salman)," IRNA reported. Bahrain security forces last week detained Salman who leads the country's main opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

According to the prosecutor's office, Salman was remanded in custody for seven days pending an investigation on charges of "promoting regime change by force, threats, and illegal means and insulting the interior ministry publicly."

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for the immediate release of Sheikh Salman in telephone conversations with some of his regional counterparts.

The top diplomat urged the regional foreign ministers "to cooperate to secure the release of the Bahraini political figure, which has always backed dialogue and moderation, as soon as possible within the framework of their collective responsibility to support moderation and peaceful political activity."  

Manama, however, described the remarks by foreign ministry officials as "unacceptable and irresponsible" and "interference" in its domestic affairs.    Bahrain has been gripped by tension since 2011 protests led by majority Shiite Muslims demanding reforms and a bigger role in running the Sunni-ruled country.