The Bahraini authorities have finally taken decisive action against the Islamic Republic of Iran after years and months of mounting evidence of Iran’s hostile intentions towards Bahrain, by withdrawing its ambassador to Tehran and making it clear that Iran’s ambassador is not welcome in Bahrain.
The most recent and most damning discovery was that of a massive bomb-making factory in Nuwaidrat, stacked with several tonnes of materials originating from Iran and provided by Iran. In the cause of GCC solidarity we would urge other Arabian Gulf nations to follow suit and demonstrate to Iran that its aggressive actions have steep consequences.
Here we look briefly at the charge sheet of Iran’s hostile acts against Bahrain and its closest allies:
- ·Iranian explosives have resulted in the deaths of nineteen police and security personnel in Bahrain since 2011. Most of these brave individuals died as the result of roadside explosives, with the materials being consistently traced back to Iran. Groups like Al-Ashtar Brigades which have admitted responsibility for these atrocities have acknowledged Iranian support and several of their leaders are based in Tehran.
- Iran has never stopped shipping arms and bomb making materials to Bahraini militants. The discovery of the bomb-making factory in Nuwaidrat is only the latest significant find. Several shipments of arms have been impounded and explosives originating from Iraq have been impounded on the Saudi Causeway destined for Bahrain.
- Iranian leaders and their Hezbollah and regional proxies have continued a campaign of incitement against Bahrain. These figures have spread lies and hostile propaganda against Bahrain and have publically threatened to escalate their support for militant groups. The multiple arms of the Iranian media have waged a parallel campaign, while ignoring Iran’s own criminal actions in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and elsewhere.
- The impounding of large shipments of Iranian arms bound for Yemen demonstrates Iran’s commitment to undermining regional security. Five Bahraini soldiers were killed in Yemen along with numerous Saudis and Emiratis and others from Bahrain’s closest allies in the Coalition. Iran should be held accountable for its regional policy of stirring up conflict and instability through proxy groups like the Houthis, Hezbollah, Al-Hashd al-Sha’bi in Iraq and numerous extremist groups in Bahrain.
- The recent discovery of a terrorist cell active in Kuwait; numerous cyber-attacks against Saudi and GCC entities; attempts to assassinate diplomats; the discovery of espionage and Qods Force cells active across the region; and unorthodox and unacceptable behavior by Iranian diplomats also demonstrates a consistent pattern of Iran using its diplomatic presence overseas for non-diplomatic and unacceptable purposes.
This pattern of evidence demonstrates that Iran’s support for such groups isn’t low-level and fragmented, but part of a clear and consistent strategy to ruthlessly extend its influence and destabilize the leaderships of Arab regional states.
Iran is not a state with which the civilized international community can do business. Its lies, hostile intentions and determination to expand its influence by any means shows that Iran is not a state which abides by diplomatic norms. Iran has no interest in abiding by the standards of the civilized world and should be treated accordingly.