MPs' call to seize Iranian property
Manama, April 20, 2011
Bahrain's MPs want property belonging to the Iranian Embassy in Manama to be converted into government office space.
They voted in favour of seizing the property yesterday, although it was unclear whether that meant a severing of ties between Manama and Tehran.
The vote will now be forwarded to Bahrain's Cabinet for a final decision.
Iran currently has an embassy in Mahooz, but work is now underway on a new diplomatic mission in the Seef District.
However, MPs are unhappy at continued Iranian interference in Bahrain's internal affairs.
Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Khamis Al Rumaihi told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) that Bahrain had reached a point where it could no longer deal with Iran.
He said he believed yesterday's decision, if approved by the government, could lead to an end to diplomatic relations.
'Iran has taken Bahrain to this crossroads by continuously refusing to respect the country's sovereignty,' he said.
'Iran gave parliament, a representative of the people, no choice but to demand the closure of its premises, which should be allocated for other (Bahraini) government use.'
He claimed other GCC countries could take similar action against Tehran.
'Bahrain is the first and there are other GCC countries that are planning to follow suit,' he said.
Yesterday's decision by parliament follows a concerted campaign by Iran to influence events in Bahrain.
Iranian television stations such as Press TV and Al Alam have been deliberately stoking tensions by distorting developments in Bahrain since the start of anti-government protests in mid-February.
Bahrain has also accused Iranian officials of trying to influence events in Bahrain through public statements, while GCC foreign ministers condemned letters from Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Ali Akbar Salehi to the United Nations on Friday, in which he called for UN Security Council intervention in Bahrain and criticised the deployment of Peninsula Shield forces from other GCC countries.
However, Bahrain's MPs yesterday urged the Bahraini government to push for a Gulf confederation to boost ties between the six GCC states.-TradeArabia News Service