Larijani: Stripping Cleric’s Citizenship Sign of Bahrain Gov’t’s ‘Last Breaths’

Iran’s Parliament Speaker said on Tuesday June 21 that Bahrain’s decision in revoking the citizenship of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, is a sign of Al-Khalifa’s ‘last breaths’.

Ali Larijani made the remark in today’s open session of Parliament, adding, “This was an impolitic and quite an adventurous move by the Bahraini regime, which assumed that by revoking the citizenship of this prominent spiritual leader, it could lead calm the country’s domestic political crisis.”

“The move must be analysed within the context of a series of irresponsible actions by this regime which, on the one hand, has undermined its own sovereignty under the rule of Western military bases and tanks of an Arab country, and on the other, has imprisoned all liberty-seekers who sought to express their democratic opposition through peaceful means, including Sheikh Salman, another Bahraini cleric,” Larijani said.

Larijani further compared the Bahraini move to the “babbling of the ill-fated Shah of Iran” who had threatened anyone refusing to join the Rastakhiz Party – a monopoly on political activity in Iran – with revocation of their Iranian citizenship. “This kind of overplayed bravado and talking nonsense was what overturned his monarchy, and the Al-Khalifa regime must take a careful look at this historical record, which clearly shows once a government starts threatening the influential figures of its nation with revocation of citizenship, it is taking its last breaths.”

Larijani further added that Iran’s Parliament denounces Al-Khalifa’s move, and warns the Bahraini authorities that this “brazen adventurism” will destroy all hopes for achieving a peaceful solution and spark new protests among the tormented Bahraini people deprived of their basic rights.

The Al-Khalifa regime on Monday revoked the citizenship of prominent Shia cleric Isa Qassim on charges of using his position to “serve foreign interests” and promote “sectarianism and violence”. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 250 people have been stripped of their Bahraini citizenship in recent years for alleged disloyalty.