Iran’s Tenacity to Destabilize Bahrain Astonishing

It is remarkable how Iran, despite successive setbacks in the face of the alert and sophisticated security machinery of Bahrain, continues to try and destabilize the Kingdom of Bahrain. It has been doing so for decades with little success and even the increase in Iran’s anti-Bahrain activities since the 2011 troubles did nothing but cause a little trouble.

Since the end of the Shah’s regime in 1979, the ayatollahs in Iran have made all manner of strident claims about Bahrain ignoring international treaties and accords and the historical facts on the ground. In the process they and their Revolutionary Guards and agent provocateurs have tried to use the Bahraini citizens for their nefarious purposes, have trained some of them in Iran or Iraq after brainwashing them, have tried to smuggle arms, weaponry and bomb-making material into Bahrain with some success though ultimately their hidden caches and bomb-making factories were exposed and arrests followed.

Their stooges have also consistently managed to keep the low-intensity disruptions going such as tyre-burnings, blocking of highways with garbage or planting of fake or real bombs and Molotov attacks on police. There was a time when these things captured headlines; they have ceased to do so now. International media has seen their faces behind their masks and are no longer interested in promoting their ’cause.’

In other words all the Iranian tricks have failed and are consistently failing. Those responsible for hoarding and hiding arms and bomb-making material and causing occasional blasts have been rounded up, tried in court of law and sent to jail. In many countries, those tried for treason would be sent to the gallows but these people have got away with only the the loss of their citizenship. No country prizes you if you work against its security interests.

bahrain sunset
Sunset in Bahrain.

In the face of all this it is surprising that Iran continues to be so tenacious in trying to subvert the stability of Bahrain. And one can only label this tenacity as mindless if one considers the situation on the ground. The Tehran regime has failed to realize that there are so many layers to Bahrain’s security that all its attempts to achieve the goals of its hidden agenda must fail.

For starters there is the highly trained and disciplined security force of Bahrain as well its security pact with the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries under which each of the six Arab Gulf states are duty bound to come to the aid of any country facing hostilities. In addition there is the King Fahad Causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to ensure that aid in case of any national emergency could reach Bahrain swiftly, as it did at a critical juncture during the 2011 troubles.

Beyond this, there is the US naval base in the country, where the 5th Fleet is based. And as if that was not enough, the UK too recently decided to re-establish a naval base in the Kingdom after a long hiatus in the face of the current situation. And Bahraini-Russian ties are also warming up. One wonders after this whether Iran stands a chance. It has already suffered a heavy loss of face by backing the shia Houthi tribals in Yemen who have been reduced to holding negotiations by the combined forces of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

But for any country there is another dimension to its efforts to maintain peace and security – the political and social stability, the liberal spirit and a good economy. On all these scores Bahrain turns out to be a winner. There is religious freedom, freedom of speech, a parliamentary democracy, equal rights for men and women, low unemployment, excellent infrastructure, social benefits. So there is little reason for any sane citizen to turn against the state. If Iran still wants to go on trying to destabilize Bahrain who can advise it to desist?

Brij Sharma
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.