x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sheikh Abdullah blasts Iran over Bahrain threat

The UAE today condemned Iranian threats to Bahrain, calling them unIslamic and urging Iran to reconsider its approach to the Arabian Gulf region.

ABU DHABI // The UAE today condemned Iranian threats to Bahrain as unIslamic and urged Tehran to reconsider its approach to Arabian Gulf countries.
The Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, criticised comments by the Iranian deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
The Iranian had warned the Bahraini leadership "not to pass the red line of the Muslim community". Sheikh Abdullah described this as a clear example of how the Islamic Republic had failed to understand Bahrain.
"There is a serious problem with our neighbour and their understanding of Bahrain," Sheikh Abdullah said. "This is not what a friendly neighbour that follows the Islamic Sharia and the Islamic Prophet does."
The Iranian minister's comments on Saturday came after Bahraini security forces raided and searched the house of the country's top Shiite religious leader, Sheikh Issa Qassem.
"Certain parties in Bahrain's ruling system have crossed the red lines of the Muslim world and the Shiites, and if you don't apologise for this improper act, you should expect an unexpected reaction," Mr Amir-Abdollahian told Iranian state media.
He described the raid as an issue beyond the domain of Bahrain's internal affairs, stressing that the development was significant to the entire Muslim world.
Sheikh Abdullah urged the Iranian government to reconsider its approach and said such threats were not how neighbours should act.
The GCC secretary general, Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani, also condemned Mr Amir-Abdollahian's statement.
He told The National today that the remarks were unacceptable and a disgraceful intervention in the internal affairs of Bahrain and its citizens.
"They contain blatant and dangerous threats in a behaviour that is uncharacteristic in international relations and is contrary to all international laws and principles," he said.
Dr Al Zayani expressed his regret for the continuing "Iranian systematic interference" in the affairs of Bahrain and other Arab countries.
"Stop the policy of political, religious and media incitement to destabilise the region - this approach does not serve Iran's relations to the GCC," he said.
Also today, Sheikh Abdullah met with Jeffrey Feltman, the UN undersecretary general for political affairs. They discussed a number of issues, including the political situation in the Middle East, reported the state news agency Wam.

amustafa@thenational.ae