Bahrain chamber calls for Iran products boycott
Manama, May 1, 2011
Bahrain has been urged to boycott all Iranian products in protest at the Iranian government's meddling in the kingdom's internal affairs.
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) yesterday agreed to the action in response to fabricated statements about the unrest, a report in the Gulf Daily News said.
"We denounce Iran's blatant interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain, including its speeches and statements against the kingdom," said BCCI.
"In light of this situation, the chamber calls all traders, businessmen, companies and other institutions to boycott Iranian goods and stop dealing with their merchants."
The BCCI also urged GCC and Arab governments to copy its stance to ensure that the Iranian government respects Bahrain's sovereignty.
It said the recent unfortunate events in Bahrain clearly showed Iran aimed to escalate the crisis, which threatened national unity and the safety and security of its citizens.
Bahrain mainly imports foodstuff, including dry fruits, from neighbouring Iran.
BCCI treasurer and independent MP Othman Sharif said the decision was taken in solidarity with Bahrain's leadership. "We want to show support to our leaders and decided to boycott all Iranian goods," he told the newspaper.
"This is a call by BCCI to all business enterprises and owners in Bahrain as Iran has constantly interfered in our affairs."
Sharif said Bahrain was one of the main entry points for Iran to export its goods to neighbouring GCC states.
"I hope this will pressure Iranian businessmen and merchants to urge their government to rethink about their interference in Bahrain," he said.
"This boycott call is for all GCC traders and business community." Trade volume between Iran and Bahrain is believed to be around $5 billion annually.
BCCI tourism committee chairman Nabeel Khalid Mohammed Kanoo said the decision had been taken on economic grounds. "The current situation demands that stringent steps be taken after the involvement of a foreign country to overthrow the government," he said.
"This boycott call reflects an economic decision highlighting our support to the Bahrain government and rulers."
Kanoo said it was up to the Finance Ministry and Central Bank of Bahrain to make any decision about Iranians' activities involving the financial and banking sectors.
BCCI gold and pearl jewellery committee head Mohammed Sajid Shaikh said on the one hand Iran was benefiting from businesses in Bahrain and the GCC but was also spearheading a campaign of unrest.
"There should be a blanket ban on all Iranian products," he said.
"They are behind these acts of terrorism and we urge all consumers in Bahrain and other GCC states to boycott their goods." - TradeArabia News Service