Bahrain’s Anti-Iran Charges Mere Diversionary Tactics

Bahrain’s Anti-Iran Charges Mere Diversionary TacticsBahrain’s Anti-Iran Charges Mere Diversionary Tactics

A lawmaker denounced the recent claim by Manama that it has arrested a terrorist cell with alleged links to Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as "diversionary tactics aimed to mislead public opinion."

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesperson for Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said that "the Bahraini regime makes such arrests, on baseless grounds, to clamp down on dissent and then accuses Iran," ICANA quoted him as saying on Monday.  

"These are just some diversionary tactics to manipulate public opinion in Bahrain," he said.

An official statement carried by Bahrain's state news agency, BNA, said on Saturday that the country's police had arrested 116 people in connection with terrorism charges as the ruling Al Khalifa regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown on political dissidents.

The Bahraini government's statement also claimed that the suspects had links to the IRGC.

Iran has always denied supporting any bid to overthrow the government in Bahrain.


Pointing to widespread coverage by western media about such arrests by a regime with a notorious human rights record, even before the verification of such allegations, Hosseini said, "These arrests and shows are done with the aim of damaging Iran's global image." A key ally of Washington and home to the US Fifth Fleet, the Manama regime has drawn harsh criticism from international rights groups over its harsh treatment of opponents.

Hosseini said the latest accusations against Iran reveal that the Persian Gulf island nation has not yet been able to quell a popular uprising demanding an end to the absolute monarchy and has instead been compelled to resort to such tactics.

The lawmaker called on Bahraini officials to heed their people's demands instead of making such propagandist attempts if they really want to make their country a safer place.

"The Bahraini government should be aware that such [diversionary tactics] are not the answer to [the majority] of their people pursuing change," the parliamentarian said. Dozens of Bahraini people have been jailed and stripped of citizenship since the pro-democracy campaign began in the Persian Gulf state in mid-February 2011. The kingdom has also expelled some of its citizens after revoking their nationalities.

The first wave of widespread rallies was suppressed when Riyadh sent military forces to Bahrain, making it in effect a vassal state that is practically governed from Riyadh.


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