Iran’s Velayati: Int’l Circles Stunned by Revocation of Bahraini Cleric’s Citizenship
Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati condemned the Bahraini regime’s recent move to strip citizenship from the most prominent Shiite cleric in the Arab country, saying that it stunned the international community.
“The news of revocation of the nationality of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim’s , the leader of Bahraini Shiites, astounded all statesmen and international circles,” Velayati said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The “despotic” Al Kahlifa regime is resorting to various methods of suppression and crackdown, such as brutally killing the Bahraini people and efforts to sow discord among Shiite and Sunni Muslims and foment ethnic divisions, in an attempt to save its illegal rule, he stated.
Velayati further warned that the “wrong policy” adopted by the Bahraini regime will take the popular uprising to a new phase, whose outcomes would be destructive to the “reactionary puppet rulers” of the Arab country.
Bahrain said Monday that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.
It came days after a regime’s court issued an order earlier suspending the activities of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, on charges of “terrorism, extremism, and violence”.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.
Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters.