March 18, 2011

NEVER TOO SOON TO REALIZE WE'RE ALLIES:

Why the Bahrain rebellion could prove calamitous for the West: Saudi Arabia's support for the Gulf state risks drawing Iran into the conflict (Con Coughlin, 3/17/11, The Telegraph)

The Sunni-Shia divide in the country is particularly problematic because of the close family connections many Shia have to Iran. An estimated 30 per cent of Bahraini Shia are of Persian descent, and maintain contact with relatives in Iran. In the past, this has enabled Iran's Revolutionary Guards to establish terrorist cells in the kingdom, aimed at destabilising the monarch. In 1981, a Tehran-organised plot to overthrow the government was uncovered. Bahraini security officials are constantly on the alert for signs of Iranian meddling, and have accused some members of the opposition Shia movement of being funded by Tehran.

The issue is further complicated by Iran's long-standing insistence that it has a legitimate territorial claim over Bahrain. A recent Iranian newspaper editorial claimed that the kingdom was in fact a province of Iran. It is because of these simmering tensions between the states that the royal family's decision this week to call for Saudi reinforcements is fraught with danger.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the ayatollahs have assumed a protective role over the world's Shia.


Actually, it is America that has assumed the role of liberator of the Shi'ites.


Posted by at March 18, 2011 6:27 AM
  

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