May 5, 2019, 9:41 AM
News Code: 83303051
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House of Khalifa in Bahrain follows Saudi lead

Tehran, May 5, IRNA - Regarding to verbal tension between Iran and Bahrain over the Strait of Hormuz, an expert on Middle East affairs says the House of Khalifa follows the Saudi lead in the region.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major-General Mohammad-Hossein Baqeri said on the sidelines of the 23th Military Commanders' General Conference on April 28, in response to the US' sanctions on Iran, that if Iran’s oil does not cross the Strait of Hormuz, oil from other countries will not also cross the Strait.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said on May 2 that Iran would not be allowed to close the Strait of Hormuz for even a day.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Mousavi responded to Bahraini Foreign Minister, saying, 'The Islamic Republic of Iran ensures security of the Strait of Hormuz as the highway for supply and transport of energy to the world as long as the interests of the Iranian people by this vital and important strait are met”.

The spokesman warned Bahraini officials no to threaten the great and powerful country of Iran.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), in an exclusive interview with the expert on Middle East affairs Reza Kalhor has focused on these developments.

** Bahrain not apart from S. Arabia regional hegemony

The Middle East expert underlined that Bahrain's policy cannot be separated from Saudi hegemony in the region, so Bahrain cannot be said to speak about the Strait of Hormuz as a sole country, but we have to consider the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) as well as Saudi Arabia as a whole.

'The issue that Bahrain has been talking about is not a new one, and there is no need for the Islamic Republic to take serious stance on this issue. The Bahraini authorities are repeating the words of Saudi officials and this is not new on the part of Bahrain,' the analyst said.

Kalhor also went on to say elsewhere that the Al Khalifa regime, given the majority of the Shia population of Bahrain, is feeling a threat by the positions of Iran in the region and declares its views in line with the Saudis, and this is not important for the Islamic Republic to take stance, given Bahrain is being regarded as a microstate.

** Threat of closing Strait of Hormuz by Iran

Kalhor made the remark that Bahraini officials say Iran cannot close the Strait of Hormuz and cause isolation of the Islamic Republic. It is baseless that the Persian Gulf states themselves are aware of Iran's missile power in the region.

The analyst expressed that threat to close the Strait of Hormuz does not lead to the isolation of the Islamic Republic. On the other hand, the whole world knows that Iran can take this action, and the US authorities are fully aware of Iran's power in this regard.

The Middle East expert said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is taking steps to enforce its rule in the region, and there seems to be no other way. The West and its allies should know if they want to sanction the Islamic Republic on the global scene, they must pay the price and the threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz may be one of the possible reactions of Iran that the West may pay back for.

Kalhor noted that, according to international statistics, about 30 percent of the world's oil tankers are passing through the Strait of Hormuz. About 80 percent of the oil shipments crossing the Strait of Hormuz depart for Asia, especially India and China, which are among the greatest trading partners of Iran. Europe also imports a small portion of its oil from the Middle East. And this is a strategic region in terms of the global economy.

The expert on Riyadh’s positions against Iran said that Saudi Arabia is sending its oil mainly from the Red Sea to Europe, and it is an American ally in the region, taking a position in line with American policies in the region, and repeatedly against the threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz by Iran.
He added that the reality is that Bahrain is considered one of the provinces of Saudi Arabia. In the entire region, if we consider, Bahrain is a country that has the most compliance with Saudi Arabia in comparison to other states. Even some Arab countries, like Qatar and Kuwait, have taken a stance on the position of Bahrain over Middle Eastern issues..

Kalhor concluded that Bahrain has sheer obedience from Saudi Arabia, and it is expected that when Riyadh takes a position, the country will continue to follow Saudi policies. The same situation will continue in the future. Iran's relationship with Bahrain is tense in the current situation and after the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, Manama has cut off his diplomatic ties with Tehran.

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