Bahrain says Iran envoy can return to Manama

May 25, 2011

Shaikh Khalid

Bahrain’s foreign minister said that Iran’s ambassador in Manama could resume his duties in the Bahraini capital “any time he wanted.”

Bahrain did not expel the ambassador and he left Manama upon orders from his government, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said on Tuesday evening.

Iran on March 16 recalled its ambassador Mahdi Aghajafari from Bahrain for consultations, six months after taking up his posting.

Bahrain had earlier recalled its ambassador in Iran after in protest of “blatant interference” in its domestic affairs by Tehran.

Relations between Manama and Tehran deteriorated to a record level after Iran criticized the Bahraini authorities over the way it dealt with demonstrators.

However, Bahrain accused Iran of interfering in its affairs by supporting demonstrators and by calling for the withdrawal of the Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), units from the island country.

Bahrain called in the GCC land and navy forces in mid-March to help put an end to the security unrest that hit the country. However, Iran said that the deployment of the units amounted to an occupation, a charge that Bahrain and the other GCC countries have repeatedly rejected.

Bahrain said that the forces were invited into Bahrain under a GCC defense agreement that is similar to Article Five within Nato.

In Tehran, the foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the Bahraini charge d’affaires to “voice objection against the arrest and trial of an Iranian national,” local media reported.

Iranian media also reported that a senior Iranian official said that Iran would be ready to hold talks with Saudi Arabia only after Riyadh pulled out its troops from Bahrain.

Amir Hossein Abdollahian, the director of Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Gulf and Middle East Department, rejected reports that Ali Akbar Salehi, the foreign minister, was making efforts to initiate talks with Saudi officials over the region’s political crises.

“Iran’s condition for holding talks with Saudi Arabia is that that country withdraws its troops from Bahrain. As long as Saudi forces do not leave Bahrain and the Saudis do not end their behavior with regards to Bahrain, there would be no justification for holding talks with Riyadh,” Abdollahian, a former ambassador to Bahrain, told the Iranian news agency Irna on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Saudi Arabia refused to receive Salehi as part of his Gulf tour during which he visited Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. He later made a visit to Kuwait that has waded into controversy and has now developed into the grilling of the prime minister by three MPs.

According to the reports, Saudi Arabia, upset over the Iranian diplomatic and media campaign against the kingdom, said that Iran had to apologise for the vandalism to its consulate in Mashhad and for the attack on its embassy in Tehran.



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

Random Image

19 visitors online now
4 guests, 15 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 24 at 07:06 am UTC
This month: 28 at 10-05-2017 01:44 am UTC
This year: 48 at 05-21-2017 10:47 am UTC
All time: 137 at 07-08-2013 12:50 pm UTC
Better Tag Cloud