Iran Gives 72 Hours to Senior Bahraini Diplomat to Leave Tehran
In a retaliatory move against Manama officials’ decision that on Thursday ordered Iran’s charge d’affaires in the country to leave the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom within 72 hours, the Iranian foreign ministry, in a statement on Friday, gave the second highest-ranking diplomat at the Bahraini embassy in Tehran, Bassam Dalhan al-Dosari, 72 hours to leave Iran.
Earlier, Manama had accused Tehran of forming and arming groups opposed to the Al Khalifa regime.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed Bahrain’s unfounded allegations that Tehran is interfering in the internal affairs of the kingdom of Bahrain.
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry said it asked the ambassador, Rashid Saad al-Dosari, to return Manama, and declared the Iranian diplomat, Mohammad Reza Babaei, persona non grata and ordered him to depart.
In August, Iran called on the Manama officials to stop raising baseless allegations against Tehran and present strong evidence to corroborate its claims about Iran’s interference in Bahrain.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian made the remarks after the Bahraini official news agency claimed that the Manama government has captured an Iranian boat carrying weapons in the Persian Gulf tiny island country’s waters.
“If the Bahrainis have any proof, they can hold security level talks with us, otherwise, displaying some weapons, arresting a person and making accusations against him is the simplest thing that any security service can do in a country,” Amir Abdollahian said in an interview with Iran-based Arabic-language al-Alam TV at the time.
Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.
Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.
So far, hundreds of protesters have been killed, hundreds more have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured and arrested.