Bahrain tells US 'stand up to Iran'
Washington, October 22, 2011
The US has been urged to stand up for its interests and draw the red lines against Iranian terror by a senior official of Bahrain’s government.
"How many times have you lost lives, been subject to terrorist activities and yet we haven't seen any proper response. This is really serious. It's coming to your shores now," Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said in an interview with Washington Post.
Referring to Tehran-sponsored attacks on American forces in Lebanon and Iraq, he wondered what the US was going to do to show Iran that it was serious, said a trport in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
US President Barack Obama recently denounced an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, saying Iran "will pay a price".
The Foreign Minister, who was in Washington for talks with US officials, was interviewed by the newspaper's columnist David Ignatius.
He underlined the seriousness of the Iranian threat to the Gulf and said that Bahrain's intelligence was familiar with the activities of Ali Gholam Shakuri, an Al Quds operative who was indicted by the US for his role in the alleged assassination plot.
Months before the indictment, Bahraini and Saudi intelligence had identified Shakuri as an important "Iranian interlocutor", he said.
The Foreign Minister also said that Iraqi Shia politician Ahmed Chalabi, who had lobbied the Bush administration for the US invasion of Iraq, was increasingly tilting towards Iran on regional issues. Chalabi has now taken up the cause of Bahrain's opposition, even to the extent of proposing a "rescue flotilla" to deliver aid to them, the Foreign Minister said.