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Thursday
May172012

Bahrain Live Coverage: Playing the Iran Card

See also Bahrain Video Special: "Riots", "Reform", & "Brutal Interrogation" --- The Kingdom from 1956 to 1996
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Assad Says, "No Chaos, Please"
Wednesday's Bahrain Live Coverage: The Tortured Neurosurgeon


2035 GMT: Bilad Alqadeem tonight:

1635 GMT: The moment police fired tear gas at protesters in Bilad Alqadeem today:

1515 GMT: From protest to tear gas in Bilad Alqadeem today:

1510 GMT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa maintains the regime line both on Saudi-Bahraini union and the Islamic Republic trying to prevent it:

The union...is a demand by the people of the GCC [Gulf Co-operation Council states]....[Bahrain] rejects Iranian interference in the affairs of the kingdom....Every once in a while, we hear Iranian claims that Bahrain is the 14th governorate [of the Islamic Republic]....and that Bahrainis want to return to the motherland....This meddling and this Iranian stance is not just directed against Bahrain, but against everybody [in the GCC].

0630 GMT: We open with a mirror image. Just as we started our Iran Live Coverage by noting the regime's use of the spectre of Saudi-Bahraini union for propaganda at home and through the Middle East, we begin here by highlighting the Bahraini officials' use of "Iran" to keep eyes away from --- or, even better, justify --- detentions and suppression of the opposition through the invocation of "security".

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires to protest statements by leading MPs in Tehran denouncing the mythical union and criticising Manama. Yesterday, Bahrain's Ambaassador to the US, in Brussels to address the General Assembly of the European Jewish Parliament, asserted, "We are all facing the same threat, which is Iran. We have to cooperate and work together and we need the support of Europe....We need your support as Bahrain is going forward in the process of reforms." 

Huda Noono, one of Bahrain's 37-member Jewish community, continued: 

Since 1979, Iran has tried to export its revolution to Bahrain whom it considers as its 14th province....The Islamic party wants to transform Bahrain into a theocracy....It is very important that with Europe we share mutual geo-strategical interests in the region as we face the same external threats. We have to address the message to Iran not to muddle in the region.

And speaking specifically about Bahrain, rather than Iran, Nonoo insisted,  "Not all the Arab countries are going through the Arab Spring. What is happening in my country is not part of the Arab Spring. It is something totally different. It has become a sectarian issue." 

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