Iran 'promoting terrorism in Gulf'
Washington, May 25, 2014
Iran has come under fierce attack for backing terrorism in GCC countries and Bahrain in particular.
It was accused of using Shi'ites in Gulf nations as a sectarian tool to threaten their regimes and spread terrorism, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
This came as the US Congress foreign affairs committee held a hearing session on Thursday on present differences between the US and GCC countries and reasons underlying their fears of US policies.
Addressing the opening session, committee president Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism, which the US must confront and avoid establishing closer economic ties with.
Senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, Dr David A Weinberg, gave a lengthy testimony concerning Iran's policies and terrorist interferences in the internal affairs of GCC and Arab countries.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is sponsoring terrorism in the whole Gulf region and Middle East, and seeks to use Shias in the region as a sectarian tool to expand its influence."
"It is not a matter of talking about a 'Shi'ite Crescent' stretching from Iran out to Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. The real danger lies - in addition to this - in Iranian networks in Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait and parts of Saudi Arabia," he quoted Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Moqrin bin Abdul Aziz as saying to US officials.
"GCC countries are right when they say Iran utilises Shias to threaten GCC regimes and disseminate terrorism. This continues today," the US researcher said.
He said consignments of advanced arms from Iran's Revolutionary Guard destined to Shi'ite extremists were seized in Yemen and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were also subjected to attacks with links to Iranian terrorist networks. Iranian spy networks were also uncovered in Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
He said GCC countries can not trust any agreements concerning Iran's nuclear programme until they make sure it has stopped supporting terrorism and interference in Yemen and the Middle East.
He said Iran provides violent Shi'ite groups in Bahrain with advanced weapons, citing seizure of large consignments of Iranian arms from Iraq and Syria and arrest of Bahrainis who received training in Iran.
Although peaceful demonstrations are authorised in Bahrain, villages witness unlicensed rallies almost every night involving acts of violence and sabotage. Iran-linked terrorist cells in Bahrain have stored hundreds of advanced explosives to attack security forces and public facilities, he added, calling on the US to stand up against Iran's interference and terrorist activities, should it be willing to reassure its GCC allies, he said. - TradeArabia News Service