Iran denounces 'unconstructive' Bahrain opposition ban
18 July 2016, 12:58
Tehran - Iran has criticised as "unconstructive" a
Bahraini court's decision to dissolve and seize the funds of the country's main
Shiite opposition group.
The order - which can be appealed - came on Sunday despite international
criticism of the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom's intensified crackdown on dissent.
The administrative court in Manama found Al-Wefaq guilty of
"harbouring terrorism" and ordered the government to seize its
"Such actions by the Bahraini government prove that they
don't seek to resolve the existing crises," Iran's foreign ministry
spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi said in a statement late on Sunday.
Bahrain has unleashed a crackdown on opposition groups since a
wave of Shiite-led protests in 2011 called for greater freedoms in the
It has long accused Iran of fomenting unrest among the island's
Sunday's ruling came amid appeals by the United Nations, United
States and rights groups for the legal action against Al-Wefaq to be dropped.
Ghasemi called on Bahrain to replace "escalated security and
police approaches with trust-building measures," setting the stage for
"serious, constructive and converging dialogue".
Authorities have stripped at least 261 people of their citizenship
since 2012, according to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, including the
country's Shiite spiritual leader Sheikh Isa Qassem.
Dissolving "moderate groups" and stripping political and
religious leaders of their citizenship are "not in line with the regime's
interest," Ghasemi said.
Last month, Iran voiced concern over Bahrain's decision to strip
Qassem of his nationality.
"Surely they know that the aggression against Ayatollah
Sheikh Isa Qassem is a red line... that will leave no option for the people but
to resort to armed resistance," said Qassem Suleimani, head of the elite
Revolutionary Guards' overseas operations arm, the Quds Force.