Bahrain has recalled its ambassador to Iran in protest of a Tehran-backed plot to smuggle arms and large explosives into the archipelago nation, Bahraini authorities said over the weekend.
Officials in Manama said the plot was part of a consistent strategy employed by the Iranian regime “built on interference in the affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
The Bahraini Interior Ministry said it has arrested two suspects, one of whom allegedly received military-style training in Iran, who were tasked with smuggling the weapons and explosives into the country. The Bahraini coast guard said it recently intercepted the Iran-sponsored marine vessel, which had on board approximately 97-pounds of C4, eight AK47 rifles, and ammo, according to Al Arabiya.
Bahrain continues to deal with internal threats of terrorism. Iran has frequently been accused of backing a Shiite revolutionary group responsible for multiple deadly attacks over the past two years. The terror attacks resemble strategies employed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Bahraini authorities have said.
Interior Minister Rashid Al Khalifa warned on Friday that Iran is opening up terror training camps for sympathizers within the country.
“I tell them [Iran], you are implicated in subversive plots to disrupt Bahrain’s security. You train (terrorists) on the use of weapons and explosives. You export to us the culture of terrorism,” Al Khalifa told Gulf Daily News.
Iranian regime officials have responded to the accusations, calling them “baseless.”
“This approach is not constructive and it will not stop Iran’s trust-building policy to cooperate with regional countries to fight against extremism and terrorism,” said regime spokesperson Marzieh Afkham.
The Iranian regime, which rules an overwhelmingly Shia country, has for a long time publicly backed the Shiite majority in Bahrain, which is governed by a Sunni monarchy.