Bahrain lawmaker wants envoy to Iran recalled
A Bahraini lawmaker has urged the government to shut down its embassy in Tehran and to recall the ambassador from the Iranian capital “without any delay.”
“The Iranian ambassador to Bahrain has not been reinstated after he was recalled by his government,” MP Sawsan Al Taqawi said. “Bahrain has extended its hand and asked its ambassador to regain his post in Iran. However, the Iranian regime has often responded to goodwill gestures with negative attitudes. We need to have diplomatic, political and legislative positions that match the level of Iran’s repeated provocative threats,” she said on Thursday.
Relations between Manama and Tehran plummeted to their lowest level following the dramatic events that occurred in February and March 2011, and the two countries pulled their ambassador from each other’s capitals amid the growing tension.
Bahrain later reinstated its ambassador in Tehran and attended the Non-Alignment Movement summit held in the Iranian capital.
However, Iran did not reciprocate and kept its diplomatic mission in Manama operational under its charge d’affaires.
Al Taqawi, a member of the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee at the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament, paid tribute to the security agencies in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for uncovering “repeated provocative cases of interference and meddling” in the internal affairs of the two countries.
“The latest cases were the busting of an espionage cell working for Iran’s intelligence services and the location of an Iranian drone in the north of Bahrain near the borders with Saudi Arabia,” she said.
Riyadh this week said that it had arrested the ten members of an alleged pro-Iran cell operating in Saudi Arabia. The network, made up of eight Saudi nationals, a Lebanese and a Turk, is seemingly linked to a cell whose 18 members, 16 Saudis, one Iranian and one Lebanese, were arrested in March. The Lebanese was later released, but the 27 others are being investigated.
On Tuesday evening, Bahrain’s interior minister, Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, said that Bahrain had discovered an Iranian drone in the north of the country, close to the Saudi border.
“The interferences and provocations of Iran have reached an incredible level of aggression targeting the independence and sovereignty of Bahrain,” Al Taqawi said. “This requires concerted parliament and government efforts in order to take the necessary executive and legislative measures to safeguard the unity, integrity, security and stability of Bahrain, from the Iranian interventions and provocation.”
The lawmaker suggested the prompt adoption of a common Gulf security arrangement.
“We need to strengthen our Gulf security coordination and cooperation in order to consolidate the achievements and potential of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and confront attempts to undermine security and stability in the Arabian Gulf,” she said.