Al Azhar head tells Iran not to meddle in Bahrain’s affairs

April 20, 2011

Al Azhar

The Grand Shaikh of Al Azhar, the highest religious institution in the Arab world, on Tuesday urged Iran not to interfere in the domestic affairs of Bahrain or the Arab world.

Ahmed Al Tayyeb told reporters in Cairo, the seat of Al Azhar, that mutual respect and non-interference in internal issues would promote good neighbourliness and boost the Sunni-Shiite dialogue “upon which both Iran and Al Azhar are keen.”

According to the religious leader, the events unfolding in the Arab world concern the people of the region and Iran should refrain from interfering in their affairs”to avoid sedition, bloodshed and neighbours’ rights.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have accused Iran of “blatant interference” in their internal affairs after Tehran openly supported anti-government protesters in Bahrain and accused Saudi Arabia of “invading Bahrain” when units from the Peninsula Shield, the GCC military arm, moved last month into the island kingdom to guard major installations.

A Kuwaiti court earlier this month sentenced two Iranians to death after they were charged with spying for Iran and the verdict unleashed a war of words. However, Iran denied the charges and accused Western countries of plotting to “damage relations” between neighbours on both shores of the Gulf.

In Tehran, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani told on the phone Jassem Al Khorafi, the speaker of Kuwait parliament, that “enemies should not be allowed to damage Iran-Kuwait friendly and brotherly relations.”

In Manama, the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament approved a motion asking the government to take back the building of the Iranian embassy and to turn into a ministry or a government agency.

The lawmakers attributed their motion to “the role of Iran in seeking to undermine the political regime in Bahrain.”



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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