Iran Urges Bahrain to Heed Warnings, Release Cleric
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian deputy foreign minister called on the Bahraini ruling regime to take serious warnings about the dire consequences of holding the top opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman in custody and free him immediately.
“The Bahraini government should understand the sensitive and complicated situation in the region,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Monday.
He also urged the Manama regime to “pay serious attention to the warnings given by the political officials, religious leadership and well-wishers of the region and they call for immediate freedom of secretary general of the al-Wefaq democratic society.”
Amir Abdollahian further denounced the Al Khalifa regime’s “organized violation of human rights," stressing that such actions pose problems to security in Bahrain and across the region.
“Continuation of the policy of suppression and violence in Bahrain is worrying and disappoints those who believe in the democratic methods and national dialogue,” the Iranian diplomat added.
On December 31, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had called for the immediate freedom of Sheikh Ali Salman.
“Coercive attitudes towards the respected leaders, who have not deviated from peaceful approaches to pursue public demands despite the tough political and security conditions in recent years, will complicate the situation and increase the threats,” Zarif said at the time.
The top Iranian diplomat said the global reaction to Sheikh Salman’s arrest shown by various religious authorities indicate that he is a highly respected leader and that his “moderate approach” and the al-Wefaq Society enjoy international popularity.
Meantime, the Bahraini public prosecutor on Sunday rejected an appeal to free Sheikh Ali Salman and extended the detention of the prominent cleric by 15 more days.
The decision was made in spite of massive protests and international calls for the Shiite cleric’s immediate and unconditional release.
On December 29, 2014, charges of "inciting violent change of regime through threats and illegal practices," as well as "public insult of the Interior Ministry" were leveled against Salman. The move aroused concern of the United Nations, the European Union as well as Bahrain’s main ally, the US.