Iranian Parliament called for Saudi Arabia to pull out troops from Bahrain.
“Saudi Arabia knows better than any other country that playing with fire in the sensitive Persian Gulf does not benefit the country,” Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said in a statement, reported ISNA.
The statement called for the neighboring Arab country to consider interests of its own and the Islamic World rather than following the US policies towards the region.
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE have only made the situation more complex as they sent troops to Bahrain. The action resembles Kuwait’s occupation by Saddam Hossein.”
The statement added the only aim sought by the US is securing its own interests not implementing human rights principles.
“The US and Zionist regime are arch foes of the world and their plots seek domination over the Islamic World, creation of discord within tribes and sectors and waging civil war,” the statement read.
Iranian officials have already criticized arrival UAE and Saudi Arabian troops to Bahrain to quell public protests.
The unrest in Bahrain stirred concerns amongst other Sunni-led Gulf countries, most importantly Saudi Arabia, that Shi’ite-led Iran was meddling in the Bahrain’s affairs.
Bahraini authorities accused Iran and the Lebanese based Hezbollah of being behind a long term scheme to destabilize Bahrain and the Gulf region.
Key Bahraini opposition groups on Wednesday warned both Iran and Saudi Arabia against intervening in the country’s affairs, as a government crackdown on opposition forces continued, dpa reported.
“We don’t want Bahrain to be a battleground for Saudi Arabia and Iran,” head of the largest Shiite opposition grouping al-Wefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman said at a press conference.
“That is why we reject the Saudi military intervention and call on Saudi Arabia to withdraw its troops and at the same time reject the Iranian intervention,” he added.
The warning came as authorities in Shi’ite majority, Sunni-ruled Bahrain continued to tighten their grip on the island, arresting activists and storming Shi’ite villages to prevent protests.
“We reject any sort of military intervention,” Sheikh Salman said, refuting media reports of Bahraini officials claiming to have evidence that Iran had clandestinely given Bahraini Shiites military training.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) troops were deployed in Bahrain earlier this month at the request of the government, after violent crackdowns by security forces failed to quell pro-reform protests.
The opposition also dismissed allegations that they were at fault for the failure of talks proposed by the Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa.
“The intervention of the soldiers is what cut the road to dialogue,” Salman said, revealing that the opposition had been in contact with the crown prince through intermediaries.
On March 13 Crown Prince Salman, in the midst of rising sectarian tension and sporadic clashes, issued a statement that some of the opposition’s demands – including a parliament with full authority – were acceptable grounds for dialogue.
Three days later police and military forces raided Lulu Roundabout, the focal point of protests, for the second time in a month.
A day later, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the authorities declared a 30-day period of martial law, which allows for arbitrary arrests and bans all protests.
The opposition says 300 people including prominent Shi’ite opposition figures have been arrested since March 16.
Bahrain’s minister of interior on Tuesday dismissed claims that the crackdown was sectarian in nature or targeted specific groups, emphasizing that was intended to restore peace and order.
For over a month, Bahraini protesters have been demanding constitutional reforms and greater freedoms.
According to the opposition and hospital sources, 20 people have been killed in violent crackdowns by security forces, which included live ammunition, tear gas, and water cannons.
According to opposition groups, the 20th victim was 15-year-old Seyyed Ahmed Shams, reportedly shot in the head by police late Wednesday in the Shiite village of Saar, north of Manama. Agencies