Thursday, June 20, 2024

Bahraini official says relations with Iran will be restored soon

The first deputy speaker of Bahrain’s Council of Representatives has stated the Persian Gulf kingdom intends to take measures soon to revive diplomatic ties with neighboring Iran after more than eight years of severed ties.

“Resumption of political and commercial relations between the two countries is of great importance, because Iran is a neighboring country and Bahrain supports stable ties with all regional states,” Abdulnabi Salman stated on Saturday.

He added that the desire to resume relations between Manama and Tehran has been met with a positive response from the Bahraini government and the Council of Representatives, and the legislature has even put out a positive statement in this regard.

“Compared to other countries along the [Persian] Gulf, we are the closest country to Iran. Iranian expatriates live in Bahrain, and we are also witnessing the presence of Bahraini citizens in Iran. Trade exchanges between the two countries date back many decades,” Salman pointed out.

The senior Bahraini legislator stressed that Manama hopes to resume stable and strong political relations with Tehran, stressing, “This will happen in the very near future and will be based on respect for good neighborliness”.

He went on to note that Russia, interested in the stability of the West Asia region, has been mediating between Bahrain and Iran in order to revive diplomatic ties.

“The two countries may have political differences; but such differences will not last forever. Currently, they should take advantage of playing a central role in promotion of regional stability.”

Bahrain followed Saudi Arabia’s decision by severing diplomatic relations with Iran on January 4, 2016, after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its diplomatic mission in Iran.

Back in March 2023, Iran and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement in the Chinese capital of Beijing to restore their diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions.

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on May 23, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah said Manama looked forward to improving its relations with Iran.

King Hamad added that there was no reason to postpone the restoration of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Iran, according to the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

Last Wednesday, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani visited Tehran to offer condolences on the passing of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who lost his life alongside seven others in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran on May 19.

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