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Bahrain accuses Iran’s regime of ‘state-sponsored terrorism’


The Gulf state of Bahrain has accused Iran’s regime of waging a campaign of “state-sponsored terrorism” aimed at overthrowing the country’s pro-Western ruling monarchy, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

Bahraini security officials claim Iran’s regime is providing sanctuary and financial support for terrorists planning attacks in the kingdom, and say that scores of Bahraini citizens have received training in various terrorist techniques in camps operated by the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards.

Speaking during a visit to London on Tuesday, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Barhain’s Foreign Minister, claimed Tehran had embarked on “the path of conquest and power projection” against neighboring Gulf States.

“We are fighting state-sponsored terrorism,” said Sheikh Khalid. “There are cells operating in Bahrain that report directly to their superiors in Iran.”

Since Iran’s regime signed its controversial nuclear deal with the West in June, Bahraini officials say they have identified a significant increase in Iranian-backed terrorist activity in the sheikhdom.

In July two Bahraini policemen were killed and six others injured after a bomb attack carried out by terrorists the Bahrainis claim were trained by Iranian-backed militiamen.

Bahraini security officials have also intercepted attempts by the Revolutionary Guards to smuggle weapons and ammunition into the kingdom by sea.

Sheikh Khalid said that, while the Western powers regarded the nuclear deal as heralding a new era in relations between Tehran and the outside world, the agreement has had no impact on the Iranian regime’s aggressive attitude towards its neighbors in the Gulf region.

Apart from sponsoring terror cells in countries like Bahrain, the Iranian authorities were also backing attempts by Houthi rebels in Yemen to seize control of the country from the democratically-elected government.

“We need to address Iran’s relations with its neighbours in the Gulf,” said Sheikh Khaled. “This was not included in the nuclear deal, and this is a serious impediment to Iran having a more normal relationship with the outside world.”

Claims that Iran’s regime is backing attempts to destabilize Bahrain will be greeted with deep concern by Britain, which regards Bahrain as a vital ally in maintaining security in the oil-rich Gulf region, The Daily Telegraph added.
Now Bahrain fears Iran’s regime will use the billions of dollars it is due to receive when the sanctions are lifted to embark on a massive arms buildup designed to intimidate its neighbors in the Gulf.

“Iran’s strategy appears to be one of saturation,” said Sheikh Khalid. The Iranians are “stockpiling vast quantities of rockets to the level that can overwhelm any missile defence system in the Gulf.”

“We fear that funds diverted to the Revolutionary Guards following the lifting of sanctions will be utilized to further increase the threat of Iran’s missile programme.”