Bahrain Troublemakers’ Iranian Handlers Getting Emboldened

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There has been much outrage in US President Donald Trump’s administration following Iran’s testing of a ballistic missile this week and Tehran has been put on notice by his office.

Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn has been quoted as saying instead of being thankful to America for the nuclear deal, “Iran is now feeling emboldened.” He also said that an attack on Monday against a Saudi naval vessel by Iran-allied Houthi militants off the coast of Yemen underscored “Iran’s destabilising behaviour across the Middle East.”

There ought to be no room for surprise among law-abiding countries in relation to the American statements.

Bahrain has been telling the world ever so often for the last many years that Iran is among the worst exporters of terror not only in the Arab Gulf region but in the Middle East in general and even in regions beyond when it feels it has been slighted. Iran provides financial aid, moral support and training to various outfits [Hezbollah among them] and individuals promoting its agenda.

Indeed, exporting the Islamic revolution is among the clauses enshrined in its constitution and it seems no holds are barred in carrying out those efforts.

Latest Evidence

The latest evidence of this is the cold-blooded murder of an off-duty police officer last week, who was sitting in his family farmhouse feeding his pets. He was ambushed and shot in the chest.

The outlawed group Saraya Al Ashtar claimed responsibility on its Facebook page, warning of further attacks in the same breath. It claimed the shooting was in retaliation for the executions of three Bahraini terrorists last month who had been convicted of killing three policemen by luring them to a hidden bomb which was exploded remotely.

The murder of the police officer on Sunday came within hours of several Iranian and Iraqi clerics calling upon Bahrainis to “step up their fight against the regime.” According to local daily DT News, “The instructions of the so-called religious figures are reportedly aimed at provoking the public and preventing the authorities from presenting religious scholar Isa Qassim before the court here for illegal fundraising and money laundering-related cases.”

Iran-based Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Kadhim Al Ha’eiri is among the clerics who are said to have prodded Bahrainis “to die before allowing the prosecution of Qassim.” Isa Qassim’s citizenship was revoked by Bahrain in June last year for harming national security.

Saraya Al Ashtar, one of whose members was among the three executed, allegedly receives funding from Iran. A fortnight ago its thugs had shot a policeman in the head and the outfit has carried out numerous attacks on police in the last five years.

The Bahrain examples of Iranian-backed acts of terror and sabotage are but a minuscule view of how Tehran operates to implement its agenda. If one takes a bird’s-eye view of its nefarious activities, one would find its footprints all across the Middle East and even beyond in the name of “armed resistance.” This can be seen in it’s the use of Houthi tribesmen to foment trouble in Yemen, setting fire to Saudi diplomatic buildings in Iran itself, upgrading the armoury of its cells in Bahrain from Molotov cocktails to guns and bombs or keeping Hezbollah alive and kicking in Lebanon.

The FBI and the CIA in America must be in possession of fat dossiers on Iran in relation to all these activities and much more so any attempt by Iran to appear innocent should be treated as nothing more than a sham. What Trump has done today should have been done by America a decade or more ago.

Brij Sharma is an Indian journalist and editor based in Bahrain. Brij tells us the interesting stories we don’t usually hear from the middle east country.