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Infringement on Bahrainis’ rights unacceptable: Zarif

22 June 2016 18:40

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In the wake of a recent move by the Manama regime to strip Bahrain’s top Shia cleric of citizenship, Iran’s foreign minister says infringement on the rights of Bahraini people by a certain group is unacceptable.

Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking during a meeting with members of the committees of foreign affairs, national defense and armed forces of the French parliament in Paris on Wednesday.

“We want logical relations (with other countries). We cannot accept the fact that the rights of Bahraini people are infringed on by a certain group and that they are deprived of their rights,” Zarif said, adding, “Iran, nevertheless, considers having good neighborly relations (with other countries) as its unwavering policy.”

Stressing the need for all countries to abide by such principles as showing respect for other countries’ borders and not interfering in other countries internal affairs, Zarif said that a few years ago, Iran offered a proposal to promote dialogue among countries.

On June 20, the Bahraini regime revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Isa Qassim.

“Isa Ahmed Qassim has been stripped of his Bahraini citizenship,” state news agency BNA said in a short message on its Twitter account.

The cleric has been seen as the spiritual leader of the uprising against the ruling Al Khalifah regime in Bahrain over the past few years.

Senior Iranian officials reacted to the controversial decision, with Major General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, warning Manama that it should refrain from overstepping the redlines as it will leave Bahraini people with no choice but “armed resistance.”

In March 2011, Saudi Arabia dispatched troops to Bahrain to assist the Manama regime in its crackdown on protests. Scores of people have been killed in the clampdown by the Bahraini security forces.

Zarif arrived in Paris on Tuesday at the head of a high-ranking delegation on the first leg of his two-nation European tour which will also take him to the Netherlands.

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