Bahrain expels Iranian ambassador and recalls its own from Tehran
Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Continuing interference by Iran in the affairs of the kingdom” and an attempt to foment "confessional sedition" are the two reasons cited by the Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs to justify last night’s gesture: its recalling of its ambassador from Tehran and expulsion of the Iranian representative who has been ordered to leave the country within 72 hours.
Bahrain is a Gulf monarchy ruled by a Sunni dynasty in a country where the majority of the population (at least 60-70%) is Shiite, that has been demanding constitutional changes and more social and economic rights. In 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring, there were riots that the king of Bahrain defeated with armed troops sent by Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain accuses Tehran of continuing to "meddle in the internal affairs" and to support "acts of sabotage and terrorism" in the country, but many analysts say that the accusations against Tehran are an excuse for its having failed to address the reforms that are being demanded not only by the Shiite majority, but also Sunni.
Two days ago police discovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in the Shiite majority town of Nuwaidrat. Some people were arrested and accused of links with groups in Iran and Iraq.