Manama, Feb 16: Bahrain has accused Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of inciting anti-government protests in the kingdom, Xinhua quoted pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat as saying Saturday.
The demonstrations came a day ahead of the third anniversary of Bahrain’s Feb 14, 2011 protests. Thousands of people took to the streets asking for political reforms in the majority-Shiite country governed by a powerful Sunni party.
Sameera Rajab, a government spokesperson, said Saturday in a statement that attacks on security forces recently were “connected with Khamenei’s calls for Bahraini’s resistance”, which was made by the Iranian supreme leader “in a meeting with a delegation from the Feb 14 terrorist organisation”.
The recent nationwide demonstration in the kingdom has resulted in the death of a policeman and arrest of 55 protesters.
Two policemen were also injured in a “terrorist” explosion in Daih village Friday. Bahrain’s Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that investigations into the bombing are still underway.
The oil-rich kingdom had suspended its flights to Iran in March 2011 when anti-government protests erupted in Bahrain. The suspension followed a government advisory urging Bahraini citizens not to visit Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, based on claims that Shiite-majority Iran and Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah were involved in Bahrain’s unrest.