Saudi Arabia Warns Iran: ´Don´t Interfere in Unity with Bahrain´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Chana Ya´ar 05/24/12)
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Saudi Arabia is warning that its move to strengthen unity ties with
its smaller Gulf neighbor, Bahrain, is a sovereign affair between the
two countries, according to the Kuwait News Agency. The Saudis are
hoping to counter the growing influence of Iran in the region through
a proposal for greater unity with five other Persian Gulf monarchies –
Bahrain among them.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has welcomed the proposal, but many of
his population -- the majority of which is comprised of Shi´ite
Muslims -- have not. A number of other Gulf states also have
As a result, Gulf leaders decided last week to delay a decision on
the matter for the time being.
The proposal by the two nations to establish a union is one that
others should not interfere with, noted Arab League secretary-general
Nabil al-Araby. In a statement issued Monday, al-Araby said pointedly
that the decision is “a sovereign affair” of the two countries and
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and “no other country has the
right to interfere.”
The remark appeared to aimed specifically at Iran, who was told to
reconsider its position on Bahrain. The Islamic Republic was also
warned to stop its media campaigns and “provocative statements” and
refrain from interfering in Bahrain´s internal affairs.
Tens of thousands of Shi´ite protesters last week lined the main
highway of Manama, the capital of Bahrain to denounce the proposal.
The Shi´ites have long been stirred up against their Sunni rulers,
and egged on by Shi´ite Iran.
Bahrain´s government has been working to integrate its defense and
foreign affairs with Saudi Arabia, which provided strong assistance
to its smaller neighbor during the violent 15-month Arab Spring
uprising that began last year. Those protests and clashes have
to rock the country, creating a destabilized environment that has
required an ongoing infusion of troops and funds from the island
nation´s neighboring benefactor.
Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy´s 5th Fleet, is also a member of
the six-nation GCC.
The island was once a part of Iran, prior to its capture in 1861 by
Great Britain, when it became a British protectorate, although for
hundreds of years under the rule of the Al Khalifa monarchy. The UK
placed the issue of Bahrain´s status before the United Nations in
1960, requesting international arbitration, and in 1971, the island
gained its independence as a sovereign nation. (IsraelNationalNews ©
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