Bahrain Crackdown Emboldened by Trump’s Saudi Visit: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US president’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his “cozying up” to despots in the Arab country has emboldened the Bahraini regime to intensify its crackdown on its citizens.

“First concrete result of POTUS cozying up to despots in Riyadh: Deadly attack on peaceful protesters by emboldened Bahraini regime. Google it,” Zarif said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Zarif’s twitter came on the same day that Bahraini regime forces stormed into the residence of top Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, arresting everyone inside the house.

Bahrain police on Tuesday raided the town that is home to Sheikh Qassim, arresting 286 people in an assault in which officers fired tear gas and shotguns at protesters. At least five demonstrators were killed and others wounded.

Shortly after Zarif’s tweet, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman also strongly condemned the Bahraini regime’s raid that was accompanied by brutal violence against protesters.

The Al Khalifa’s move to storm into the residence of highly revered cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim and the bloody crackdown on tens of defenseless and peaceful demonstrators has complicated the situation further in the Arab country, Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday, according to Tasnim.

Slamming the harsh move against the popular Bahraini cleric and his supporters as a “miscalculation by the regime”, the Iranian spokesman stressed that intensified suppression and adoption of sectarian and religious policies against people of Bahrain would not help settle the crisis in Bahrain and would derail the peaceful process of protests.

Highlighting Sheikh Qassim’s status as a great religious and political figure in the Muslim world, the Iranian diplomat warned the Manama regime of any offense against the popular cleric and of the consequences of its actions.

He finally recommended the Bahraini government to set aside the policing polices and opt for political solutions and national dialogue to pave the way for the settlement of crisis by relying on its people.

Later on Wednesday, members of the Iranian Parliament also lashed out at the Al Khalifa regime for convicting the senior Bahraini Shiite cleric on bogus charges and for launching a raid on the popular cleric’s house and subsequent brutal suppression of protesters.

In a statement on Wednesday, 154 Iranian lawmakers slammed as unwise and sectarian a Bahraini court’s ruling sentencing Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison, saying the unfair verdict has been issued based upon trumped-up charges.

They also condemned the Manama regime’s “inhuman and anti-religious” move to storm into the highly-revered cleric’s residence, warning the Al Khalifa rulers that going ahead with such policies and ignoring popular demands will have “unpredictable consequences.”

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