With the international newspapers full of speculation about the US and Iran heading towards war with each other, and incidents of ships and oil pipelines reportedly being sabotaged by Iran, CfB asked a cross-section of Bahrainis how they interpreted the escalating tensions in the region and the implications for Bahrain:

“We have been in a stalemate for years”

“We can feel that the situation is very tense, and we certainly don’t know where we are heading in the coming weeks or months. It just seems like we have been in a stalemate for years with Iran despite all the escalation but things might turn out to be different this time;” said Ali, age 38, from Manama. 

“There has to be some form of confrontation with Iran, the Ayatollahs are not gonna go away and just give up easily hence for the betterment of the Iranian nation, the region and the world, something needs to happen and we should all take responsibility of the  consequences;” said Yousif, age 33, from Hamad Town. 

“A war of will not serve the region, it will add to the destruction of the middle east, a war in Yemen, Syria and now Iran, How is that going to bring about a better future for the region? Innocent people will lose their lives and the Ayatollahs will probably flee with their millions and remain untouchable!” said Mariam, age 28, from Budaiya.

“I support any effort to topple the Islamic Republic”

“It will be a chaotic situation, however as allies we need to stand together, if the US takes a decision that is in the best interest of the region and the world to militarily confront Iran then I believe the GCC should support the move” Khalid 35, Sanad.

“Does Trump know what he wants? If different people in the US Administration are trying to trigger a war without proper thought or planning, then this could be a disaster. Everybody wants to get rid of the Ayatollahs, but an invasion of Iran could be a thousand times more complex and messy than Iraq – and Iraq was a catastrophe;” said Abdulrahman, aged 40, from Muharraq.

“Our country has suffered a lot from endless Iranian interventions for the last four decades, as much as I had hoped that some form of peaceful agreement could be reached with the Iranian leadership to stay out of our business and to stop their support for terror, this just seems impossible. Therefore, I support any effort to topple the Islamic Republic in Iran” Salman 40, Riffa. 

“This concerns the Iranian people themselves”

“Supporting the people of Iran to revolt and overthrow the Ayatollahs would be the best solution instead of war, however the Ayatollahs will choose violence against their own people and would probably be willing to do a hundred times worse than what Bashar Al Assad did to his own people, so a revolution in Iran is a bit far-fetched” Fatima 30, Isa Town. 

“This is a regime that stayed in power by bloodshed and will only go away by bloodshed, a war with Iran could go on for years but that could be the only possible way to get rid of the Islamic republic” said Hamad 34, Saar.

“I don’t support war and I don’t believe it is America’s business to intervene in Iran. This concerns the Iranian people themselves and its not up to foreigners to decide for them, what has America caused other than destruction and chaos in places like Iraq;” said Sarah 28, Manama.

“Peaceful solution rather than military confrontation”

“I don’t want to see another war in the region, and I think the Iranian people have suffered enough. But at some time in the next ten years Iran will try to meddle in Bahrain again and trigger a conflict. There are extremists and Persian supremacists in the Iranian regime who believe that Bahrain belongs to them or that it should be a proxy “Islamic Republic.” They won’t rest until that happens. So for the sake of Bahrain’s future security, I think that we can’t live with this regime just across the water from us, breathing down our necks; said Amal, aged 46, from Riffa.

“The people of Iran will pay the price if a war takes place and the GCC will also be dragged into it. There should be a peaceful solution rather than a military confrontation. We don’t want war, it will destroy our lives and our economy;” Said Abdullah 30, Amwaj. 

“The Islamic republic has to end, it has been there for too long and it has given nothing back to the world and the region but terrorism and an ideology of hate. This ideology has to be challenged and has to be confronted in whatever way, for a better future” said Ahmed 38, Manama. 

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