Iran lashes out at Bahrain over diplomat row

11:07, April 28, 2011      

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Iran slammed Bahrain on Wednesday over the expulsion of an Iranian diplomat and summoned Bahraini charge d'affaires to protest.

Iranian lawmakers criticized Bahrain on Wednesday following Bahraini authorities' order on Monday asking the Iranian diplomat to leave the country within 72 hours.

Bahraini authorities have accused the Iranian diplomat of alleged links to a spy cell in Kuwait in which, according to Kuwaiti authorities, some Iranians were also involved.

The Iranian lawmaker, Abdolreza Torabi, told the local satellite Press TV that the recent diplomatic spat between Iran and Bahrain has been triggered by Western countries as they try to divert public attention from the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

Javad Jahangirzadeh, another member of the parliament, said "we are only giving them (Bahraini protesters) moral support, and it simply sounds ridiculous to say that Iran is meddling in their internal affairs, while other countries have sent troops on the ground," said the report.

"As far as diplomatic relations go, they (Bahraini authorities) have taken the first step," he was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, Bahraini charge d'affaires was summoned to Iran's foreign ministry and the Islamic Republic strongly protested at the "baseless allegations" levelled at Iranian diplomat, said the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Iran reserves the right to retaliate and is strongly critical about the Bahraini government's "unjust" treatments of the country 's popular demands, Mehr said.

Also, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast ruled out Bahrain's allegations against an Iranian diplomat, warning Manama of retaliatory measures, Press TV reported Tuesday.

"The latest move by the Bahraini Foreign Ministry is against the two countries' good neighborly relations and not based on realities," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

Mehmanparast said that such baseless accusations are against regional peace and stability and serve some foreign countries' plots to create divisions among regional states.

Iran reserves the right to take retaliatory measures against Bahrain, said the spokesman.

The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament held a session on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in the crisis-hit Bahrain, said Press TV.

"Foreign intervention has caused a complicated situation in Bahrain. Civil rights of the Bahraini people should be heeded," the spokesman for the commission Kazem Jalali was quoted as saying.

Instead of the suppression of the Bahraini people, their rights should be respected, said Jalali.

On Wednesday, Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Karim Abedi criticized the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for poor performance over the unrest in the Arab world.

"The council had a very poor performance on freedom-seeking movements of the people in Muslim and Arab countries," Abedi was quoted as saying by Press TV.

The Iranian lawmaker denounced as "baseless and unfounded" a complaint filed by the GCC about Iran's meddling in other countries' internal affairs.

Iran has called on foreign forces in Bahrain to leave Bahrain, and officials of the Persian Gulf kingdom have accused Iran of meddling in the country's internal affairs, the allegations which Tehran has rejected.

Source: Xinhua
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