x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Bahrain sentences three Iranian spies to 10 years in jail, says newspaper

Two foreigners and a Bahraini sentenced in their absence for spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard between 2002 to 2010 'in the Kingdom of Bahrain and abroad'.

DUBAI // Bahrain has sentenced one of its citizens and two foreigners to 10 years in prison for spying for Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the Akhbar Al Khaleej newspaper reported yesterday.

Bahrain's high criminal court sentenced "three defendants to 10 years in prison for spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards", the daily reported. One of them was "Bahraini and two others" had worked as diplomats in Iran's embassy in Kuwait. They were sentenced in their absence.

The prosecution said the three "spied from 2002 until April 2010 in the Kingdom of Bahrain and abroad", and gave the Guard economic and military information, including the locations of military, industrial and economic installations, Akhbar Al Khaleej reported.

The Bahraini was recruited while he had been visiting relatives in Kuwait, according to the report.

The Iranians had also spied on the Kuwaiti military, US forces in Kuwait and oil installations in the emirate.

In early April, Kuwait expelled three Iranian diplomats it accused of working for an Iranian spy ring, reportedly since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

Iran in response expelled several Kuwaiti diplomats. The row also prompted Kuwait to recall its ambassador from Tehran.

Iran and Kuwait have, however, reportedly exchanged ambassadors again.

Manama has, along with other Gulf states - repeatedly accused Iran of interference in Bahrain in connection with Shiite-led pro-reform protests.

Human Rights Watch yesterday accused Bahrain of carrying out a "campaign of violent oppression" against its citizens and called for an end to abuses. Pro-reform protesters took to the streets of Bahrain on February 14, but the demonstrations were quelled a month later.

The authorities said that 24 had been killed during the protest.

"Bahrain has brutally punished those protesting peacefully for greater freedom and accountability while the US and other allies looked the other way," the group's deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, said.