Bahrain has ejected Iran’s Ambassador to Manama after uncovering an Iranian bomb-making factory in the tiny Gulf kingdom, officials said, who claimed that the facility was filled with members of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Friday that it had declared Iran’s Ambassador to Bahrain persona non grata, giving Iran’s Ambassador Mohammed Reza Babai 72 hours to leave the country. Bahraini officials have also announced the arrest of Iranian suspects linked to the IRGC, the militant arm of Tehran tasked with exporting its Islamic Revolution worldwide.
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that they removed Iran’s ambassador “in light of the continued Iranian interference in the affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.” Iran has unlawfully enacted “attempts and practices to create sectarian strife and impose its hegemony and control over the entire region,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The Statement added that Iran is “supporting subversion, terrorism and incitement to violence through misleading media campaigns as well as assisting terrorist groups in the smuggling of weapons and explosives, and training their members, and harbouring fugitives from justice, and in the face of Iran’s repeated and blatant violation of all norms, laws and international conventions and principles of good neighbourliness, mutual respect and unacceptable infringement on the independence and sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
“Bahrain has decided to recall its ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran Rashid Saad Al Dossari and to consider Mr. Mohammad Reza Babai, Acting Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Kingdom, persona non grata and ask him to leave the country within 72 hours,” the statement concluded.
The recent stir-up in the Gulf kingdom comes just two months after Bahraini authorities alleged that Iran had backed Shiite revolutionaries in a terrorist plot against the country. Bahrain’s coast guard intercepted a boat bound for the nation and found 97 pounds of C4 explosives and several automatic rifles, officials said at the time.
While Bahrain is a Shiite-majority country, it remains under the control of a Sunni monarchy. Since the Arab Spring revolts, Bahrain has faced multiple attempts to overthrow its government, attempts which the government frequently alleges are sponsored by Iran.