After Saudi Arabia, Bahrain cuts ties with Iran

Bahrain said Monday that it is cutting its diplomatic ties with Iran and called upon Iranian diplomats to leave the kingdom within 48 hours.

Isa al-Hamadi, the Bahraini minister of media affairs, made the announcement on Monday, one day after Saudi Arabia similarly gave Iran 48 hours to remove its diplomatic mission from Riyadh.

Sudan has also severed relations with Iran, and the UAE has downgraded its diplomatic team.

Tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia are high after attacks Saturday on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and another Saudi diplomatic team in the northeastern city of Mashhad. The Iranians attacked the Saudi embassy following the Saudi decision to execute Shi'ite religious figure Nimr al-Nimr along with 46 other convicts, on terrorism charges.

Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said that “after the cowardly acts inflicted on our brethren at the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad – which represent a flagrant violation of intentional treaties and grave sectarian policies – we cannot be silent about nor accept [an Iranian diplomatic presence].”

Iran's foreign ministry accused Saudi Arabia of using the assault on its embassy in Tehran as a pretext to fuel tensions.

"Iran … is committed to provide diplomatic security based on international conventions. But Saudi Arabia, which thrives on tensions, has used this incident as an excuse to fuel the tensions," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said in televised remarks on Monday.

However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Iranian authorities of being complicit in the attack on the embassy, and said that documents and computers were taken from the embassy building.

He claimed that the Saudi diplomats in the embassy sought help from the Iranian foreign ministry when the building was stormed, but their requests were ignored three times.

The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, also condemned the attacks against the Saudi embassy, adding that Iranian authorities bear full responsibility for failing to protect the diplomats.

The Saudis said Sunday that their own diplomatic staff had been evacuated from Tehran and was on their way back to the kingdom.

Nimr was accused of inciting violence and leading anti-government protests in the country's east in 2011. He was convicted of sedition, disobedience and bearing arms.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *