Iran rejects links with busted Bahrain cell

November 14, 2011

Iran has rejected claims that a terrorist cell busted by Qatar and Bahrain had links with the Revolutionary Guards or the Basij, the paramilitary militia.

Manama on Friday said that Qatari authorities had arrested four Bahrainis who had planned to attack high-profile targets in Bahrain, including the interior ministry building, the Saudi embassy and King Fahd causeway, the 25-kilometre long terrestrial link between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. A fifth member was later arrested in Bahrain. A public prosecution official on Sunday said in Manama that the cell had links with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the Basij.

However, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, dismissed the reports on ties and contacts between Tehran and the cell members and said that they were “a repetition of the scenario which was originally staged against Tehran by the US last month,” in reference to the US statement that federal authorities had foiled a plot by men linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US.

“The scenario is this time raised through a Bahraini method,” Amir Abdollahian told the semiofficial Fars news agency on Monday.

Amir was Iran’s ambassador to Bahrain from 2007 until 2010 and was succeeded by Mahdi Aqajafari who was recalled by Tehran in March 2011.

In neighbouring Kuwait, the Kuwait Journalists Society on Monday called for the release of the two Kuwaitis. The Kuwaiti foreign ministry rejected the charges as baseless and said that the two men were on a media assignment for a private TV station in Kuwait.

“The Kuwait Journalists Society demands the immediate release of the two colleagues and an apology from the Iranian authorities,” Faisal Al Qannai, the secretary general of the society, said.

“The two men had entered Iran legally after receiving visas from the Iranian embassy in Kuwait. The diplomatic mission was well aware of the purpose of the visit and which was highlighting the status of the children of mixed Kuwaiti and Iranian couples,” he said.

Relations between Iran and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), particularly Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, are going through their lowest levels in decades.




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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