Thursday, July 17, 2014
Iran denies supporting Bahraini opposition forces
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad bin Muhammad Al Khalifa claimed that Iran was helping train opposition forces and interfering in Bahrain's internal affairs several days ago. This is a fairly regular occurrence and seems to happen every few months (January 2014, March 2014, April 2011, May 2011 etc). Yesterday the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman denied this claim and expressed indignation that Bahrain was not respecting the civil rights of its citizens. The human rights situation is not great in Bahrain (See Human Rights Watch on Bahrain), but there are other places with a poor human rights record that Iran does not seem to have a problem with, such as North Korea, Sudan and Syria, and the situation in Iran is also nothing to brag about.
This is probably a non-story like almost every other story in the news regarding Iran. At the same time, the fact that this event has had almost no coverage at all is interesting considering the other concurrent diplomatic issues. A United States government official in Bahrain was recently expelled from the country, and Bahrain has reportedly improved ties with the Kremlin. I don't see relations between the US and Bahrain suffering too much more, especially given the US Navy base in the kingdom, but the recent decisions by the Bahraini ruling family are interesting to say the least.