Bahrain has accused Iran of meddling into its domestic affairs and has recalled its ambassador for consultations on Saturday, explaining its decision by Iran’s hostile statements and interference in its internal affairs.
The move came after the Bahraini interior ministry announced on Saturday that it had intercepted and arrested two Bahrainis on a vessel on July 15 with 44kg of C4 explosive, eight Kalashnikov assault rifles, 32
Kalashnikov magazines, ammunition and detonators.
The two men admitted to receiving the materials from Iranian handlers outside Bahrain’s territorial waters and one of them claimed to have received military training at an Iranian Revolutionary Guards camp in 2013.
Several bomb attacks with homemade explosives have been reported in Bahrain for the past couple of years and authorities believe that Saraya al-Ashtar, a banned Shia opposition group, is behind them.
Tehran admits that it supports Bahraini opposition groups demanding greater political and economic rights for the Shia community but denies interfering in the country’s domestic affairs.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said the recent allegations by Bahrain are aimed at heating up regional tension through repeated “unfounded accusations” and“unconstructive methods” but that would not affect Tehran’s “responsible and confidence-building regional policies which focus on joint regional cooperation, especially against such threats as extremism and terrorism.”
Afkham held Manama responsible for the threats and urged authorities to “better revise their methods instead of projecting the blame” on others.
The current diplomatic spat begun last week when Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran will continue to support the “oppressed people” in Yemen, Bahrain and Palestine. His statement triggered strong reactions in Bahrain with the parliament’s foreign affairs committee demanding an extraordinary Arab summit to discuss “Iranian interference” while the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) called it a “blatant” interference to destabilize the country.