The US supports Bahrain’s dictatorial regime, because the kingdom is key to Washington’s influence in the Persian Gulf littoral states, especially Saudi Arabia, a Middle East expert says.
The US’ “position when it comes to Bahrain is totally different, because Bahrain is the home of the headquarters of its Fifth Fleet and the Bahraini king’s position is absolutely pivotal,” Zyad Al-Isa told.
“It is a linchpin for American strategy in the [Persian] Gulf and it is actually considered to be at the doorstep of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the staunchest allies of the United States,” he pointed out.
The expert went on to say that Saudi Arabia “is actually one of the longest dictatorships in the Middle East; I would call it the bastion of dictatorship and the mother of all dictators.”
“What happens in Bahrain will have a dramatic influence on what happens in Saudi Arabia,” Isa pointed out.
“The Saudi king has tried to exert much influence on the king of Bahrain by telling him specifically that if they carry on being reluctant and hesitant to crush the revolt in Bahrain, then the king of Saudi Arabia is going to intervene, himself, with his security forces,” he added.
“We have seen him (the Saudi king) moving tens of thousands of security forces close to the Eastern province, which has witnessed the peaceful demonstrations and we have also seen the brutal and ruthless crackdown by the Saudi security forces,” Isa mentioned.
In recent weeks, Bahraini protesters, inspired by revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, have continued their anti-government demonstrations against the policies of the incumbent regime.
They are demanding that Premier Sheik Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa step down due to corruption and the deadly crackdown on the opposition in which seven people have so far been killed.
The Bahraini prime minister, who is also the king’s uncle, has been in power for 40 years.
The Shia majority country has been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, from the Sunni minority, for more than 200 years. Agencies