TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that his country cannot keep mum on the cruelties and oppression exercised against the Bahraini people and trampling of their rights by the al-Khalifa regime.
“We want logical relations; we cannot accept the trampling of the rights of the Bahraini people by a specific group and their deprivation of rights; meantime, good neighborliness is Iran’s unchangeable policy,” Zarif said, addressing members of the French parliament’s foreign policy, defense and armed forces committee in Paris on Wednesday.
Noting that certain countries seek to divert attentions from real problems by creating tension, he said, “We have the problem of statesmanship in the Arab world which means their inability to meet people’s political and social needs.”
His remarks came after Bahrain’s Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Monday the country’s top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim was stripped of his citizenship.
After the development on Monday, IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, in a rare statement, warned the Manama regime that in case of any insult or disrespect for Sheikh Qassim, “the toppling of the regime will only be a small part of the repercussions that will also include armed resistance”.
The General blasted the Manama regime for its “unacceptable and inhuman oppression, discrimination, injustice and humiliation” against the Muslim Bahraini nation, and said people on the tiny Persian Gulf island have so far tolerated the Al-Khalifa regime’s apartheid and heavy pressures and continued their uprising peacefully despite the fact that a number of their political and religious leaders have been arrested, their women and children have been imprisoned and tortured, some others have been stripped of their citizenship and undergone intensifying pressures with their rights trampled upon.
He said people’s rise for their demands in a peaceful way has, unfortunately, emboldened the Al-Khalifa regime to intensify its crimes and crackdown on the Bahraini nation, “specially as a result of the meaningful silence shown by the UN, the US and the Western states,” everyday.
“The illegal detention of Sheikh Ali Salman (the head of the main opposition group, Alwefaq) and other political and religious leaders of Bahrain in light of the silence of the international circles has emboldened the Al-Khalifa to threaten the sanctuary of the remarkable cleric and religious leader of Bahrain’s Shiites, Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim, and inspired the people of the region and Bahrain with worrying thoughts,” General Soleimani said in his statement.
“The Al-Khalifa seems to be misusing the peaceful movement of the people and is miscalculating the extent of public fury,” he said, and added, “They certainly know that trespassing the sanctuary of Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim is a redline whose crossing will set fire to Bahrain and the entire region and leave people with no other option, but armed resistance.”
“The Al-Khalifa will pay the price of such an action whose endpoint will be nothing but annihilation of this tyrannical regime,” the Iranian Quds Force Commander warned.
General Soleimani also warned supporters of the Manama regime that any insult to Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim and continued overpressure on the Bahraini people heralds “a bloody Intifada (uprising) with consequences whose responsibility will fall on those who legitimize the arrogance of the Bahraini rulers”.
Also on Tuesday, the IRGC in a statement strongly condemned the Manama regime’s decision to strip Sheikh Qassim of his citizenship, and warned the Al-Khalifa to meet the Bahraini people’s demands.
“This move will result in inflaming Bahrain’s Islamic revolution and will expedite the collapse of the puppet regime of the country,” the IRGC statement read.
It added that the inhuman breach of citizenship rights by the bloodthirsty and racist regime of the Al-Khalifa and stripping Bahrain’s Shiite Leader “Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim” of his citizenship which is against the principles and values of the noble religion of Islam and the recognized international norms and in violation of the dignity of the Arab World people and the nation of Bahrain is the product of anti-Islam strategies and policies of the arrogant powers and Zionism and a plot of the Saudi rulers.
“There is no doubt that the unwise move by the Al-Khalifa against a personality (Sheikh Qassim) who is regarded the conspicuous symbol of Shiism will pour oil to the flames of Bahrain’s Islamic Revolution and result in a destructive uprising against the ruling regime of Bahrain,” the statement added.
The IRGC warned the Bahraini leaders to quit their continued adventurisms which is favored by the Zionists, and said, “If the Al-Khalifa regime, which lacks legitimacy and commits crimes against the oppressed people of Bahrain by relying on the child-killing regime of the Al Saud, does not surrender to the righteous demands of the Bahraini people it will face a fate similar to the fate of the bygone dictators of other Muslim countries.”
The latest move by the Bahrain regime against the country’s main opposition figures came as the Al-Khalifah regime is exerting mounting pressure on the opposition.
Bahrain has been in the throes of an uprising since February 2011, when hundreds of thousands of protesters took over a Central roundabout in the capital Manama and demanded political and democratic reform in the authoritarian kingdom.
Bahraini authorities backed by Persian Gulf allies, specially Saudi Arabia, violently broke up the protests, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people, and since then rallies have continued and human rights groups have accused the kingdom of imprisoning and torturing thousands of activists. Hundreds of others have gone missing without any trace or state explanation.