General Soleimani Warns Bahrain’s Regime against Any Insult to Shiite Cleric

Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of IRGC's Quds Force

A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warned that the sanctuary of the most senior Bahraini Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, is a redline whose violation will set fire to Bahrain and the entire region.

Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of IRGC’s Quds Force, said on Monday that overstepping the redline would “leave the people [of Bahrain] with no other choice but armed resistance.”

Bahrain on Monday revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim, claiming that he has been involved in spreading extremism.

“Definitely, Al Khalifa will pay the price for this and it will result in nothing but the collapse of this bloodthirsty regime,” the IRGC commander said.

Soleimani warned that supporters of Bahrain’s Al Khalifa regime must know that any disrespect to Sheikh Qassim and the continuation of excessive crackdown on Bahraini people will “trigger a bloody intifada,” whose consequences would be upon those who legitimize the outrageous behaviour of Bahrain’s rulers.

The IRGC commander further noted that the Al Khalifa regime is committing more crimes on a daily basis and represses the people of Bahrain while the United Nations, the US and Western countries maintain their “meaningful silence.”

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry claimed in a statement that Sheikh Qassim actively sought the “creation of a sectarian environment” through his connections with foreign powers.

The ministry claimed that the cleric had misused his religious position to advance a political agenda and serve foreign interests.

The Interior Ministry’s statement added that the senior cleric “caused harm to the interests of the Bahraini kingdom or had acted contrary to the duty of loyalty to the government.”

Describing as illegal the donations to Sheikh Qassim by his followers in Bahrain, the statement further accused the cleric of receiving money and using it without obtaining the required legal licenses.