Iran 'supplying arms to Shi'ite opposition'
Manama, February 6, 2014
Seventeen US intelligence agencies have confirmed to Congress that Iran is supplying weapons to Bahrain's opposition.
They claim that such action could ignite sectarian havoc in the region, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Iran is providing radical Shi'ite groups in Bahrain with multiple means of support and this is likely to continue this year, they said in their annual report on National Intelligence Agencies' assessment of threats facing the US worldwide.
"Iran's interference in the region clashes with US interests and inflames regional conflicts and its commitment to back and empower Shi'ite forces will ignite sectarian conflicts in the region."
This came as US director of National Intelligence James Capper presented to Congress recently the annual report on National Intelligence Agencies' assessment of threats facing the US worldwide.
"The US intelligence is expecting Iran to continue to meddle abroad in such a way that harms American interests and escalate regional tension," says the report.
It added that Iranian officials believe that their support to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has played an essential role in strengthening the regime and that such support might continue this year.
As far as the Middle East is concerned, the report says that "Iran will continue to provide weapons, among other means of support, to Palestinian groups, Houthi rebels in Yemen and radical Shi'ites in Bahrain in order to expand the Iranian influence and confront what they consider to be foreign threats".
Concerning Iran's claims on its keenness to contain and counter sectarianism in the region, the report reveals that "Iran considers that the rise of sectarianism represents a dangerous regional development".
On the contrary, the report says that the US intelligence agencies "believe the fact that Iran considers itself as being responsible for the protection and empowerment of Shi'ite groups in the region will transcend its declared desire to avert sectarian violence".
"Therefore, Iran's acts and conduct will only lead to fuel tensions rather than curtail sectarianism in the region," the report said. - TradeArabia News Service