Bahrain is calling on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to boost its response to Iranian activity in the region. Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa blasted Tehran for links to a series of recent terror plots in the region, including an incident in which an allegedly Iran-backed terror cell was broken up in Bahrain:
“Anyone plotting to undermine our sovereignty and security should not expect us to consent and bow. The aggression that we have lived through and the security incidents that the region has witnessed have made us better aware of the threats to our security and stability. This stimulates us to move forward towards more cooperation and unity through words and deeds,” Shaikh Rashid said as he chaired the 14th consultative meeting of GCC interior ministers in Manama on Tuesday…
Numerous security-related incidents have occurred in the region… “In Bahrain, the security authorities have discovered a terrorist cell that aimed to set up a military network to perpetrate acts of terror in vital locations. The suspects’ confessions as well as the details about their movements, calls, money transfers and technology in making explosives proved their links with Iran and Tehran’s attempts to interfere in the homeland security of Bahrain. All this in addition to the continuation of violence, vandalism and criminal acts by terrorists against policemen and civilians,” he said.
GCC statements accusing Iran of generating regional unrest have become almost routine, but Gulf nations have become increasingly explicit about the nature and scope of Tehran’s campaigns. Yemen has blasted Iran for arming insurgents inside the country, and has demanded that the Islamic republic knock it off. Saudi Arabia also recently revealed details about an Iranian spy network that was operating inside its borders.
For its part Bahrain this month formally blacklisted the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah over the organization’s links to anti-government elements inside the country.
Khalifa’s statement underscores increasingly pointed concerns by Arab nations regarding Iranian power projection in general, and Tehran’s nuclear activity specifically. Iran’s neighbors fear that nuclear weapons acquisition will give Tehran immunity to press its territorial claims in the area, which include the entire nation of Bahrain, and to further foment regional instability. Multiple Arab states have urged Washington to take military action against Iran’s atomic program.
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