Bahraini airlines have suspended flights to Iran because the Islamic Republic has criticized the brutal crackdown on the antigovernment protests in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom.
Bahrain’s two carriers said Wednesday they have suspended flights to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, where people have censured the violent crackdown on the protesters, Reuters reported.
Bahrain’s Gulf Air has announced in a statement that its flights to and from Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan in Iran, and to Baghdad, Najaf, Arbil and Basra in Iraq are suspended until March 31, 2011, without giving any reason.
Gulf Air and Bahrain Air have both called off flights to Lebanon “until further notice.”
Last week, Bahrain carried out a bloody crackdown on protesters demonstrating for democratic reforms.
Bahrainis began peaceful demonstrations calling for constitutional reforms in the capital’s Pearl Square on February 14, and then called for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for almost two centuries.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar have also dispatched their armed forces to the country upon Manama’s request to help with the crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Tehran has strongly condemned the crackdown and the military intervention from some Persian Gulf countries.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement has also voiced support for the Bahraini opposition, and protesters have turned out in Iraq in support of Bahraini protesters.
At least 16 people have so far been killed and about 1,000 others have been injured since the beginning of the protests in Bahrain.