Bahrain Expels Iranian Diplomat for “Supporting Terrorism,” Arms Smuggling

Bahrain recalled its ambassador from Iran and declared Iran’s acting charge d’affaires a persona non grata amid charges that Iranian diplomats have engaged in arms smuggling and “subversion” against the country’s government, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

There was no immediate response from Iranian officials over the expulsion of the Iranian diplomat, identified by the state-run Bahrain News Agency as Mohammad Reza Babai. Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said it already had decided to recall its ambassador, Rashid Saad Al Dossari, over the “continued Iranian interference.”

The allegations against Iran “include supporting subversion, terrorism and incitement to violence through misleading media campaigns as well as assisting terrorist groups in the smuggling of weapons and explosives and training their members and harboring fugitives from justice,” the ministry said in a statement. …

It’s not clear what specific incident sparked Thursday’s decision. However, Bahraini authorities announced late Wednesday they had seized 1.5 tons of explosives at a suspected militant hideout in a warehouse south of the capital, Manama.

Bahrain also arrested a number of suspects with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Reuters reported.

Bahrain had recalled its ambassador from Iran earlier this year after it said that it broke up an Iran-backed terror plot. Iran was also suspected in a July terror attack that killed two Bahraini policemen. An explosion one month later, which killed one policeman and injured seven other people, was attributed to Iran and prompted a Kuwaiti parliamentarian to call Iran the “true enemy of the region.”

[Photo: abcdz2000 / Flickr ]