Al Khalifa Weighing Up Plans against Sheikh Qassim: Representative
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Representative of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, said the Manama regime is examining the regional situation and waiting for the next US president to take office in order to either prolong the cleric’s trial or carry out a raid on his house.
In an interview with the Tasnim News Agency on Saturday, Sheikh Abdullah Daqaq, Sheikh Qassim’s representative in Iran, said the Al Khalifa regime is aware that how things stand regarding Sheikh Qassim is closely linked with regional and international circumstances.
If Bahrain’s Al Khalifa, Saudi Arabia’s Al Saud, and Britain deem that the situation in the region is desirable and safe, a raid will be launched against Sheikh Qassim’s house in the village of Diraz, but if they conclude that the regional situation is unfavorable, they will halt action and prolong the cleric’s trial, Daqaq explained.
The ruling regimes in Riyadh and Manama are waiting for US president-elect Donald Trump to take the office and announce his official stances on Washington’s ties with the Persian Gulf Arab states, he added, saying if the new US administration gives the green light, a raid on Sheikh Qassim’s house will be probable, otherwise, one should expect lengthy court sessions.
The Manama regime announced on June 20, 2016, that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.
The regime later said it would put the senior cleric on trial on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism.”
But Sheikh Qassim has not appeared in any of the court sessions in the past months.
Meanwhile, the regime forces have imposed a blockade on Diraz for 200 days. They have placed barricades at more than 20 entrances to Diraz, barring even the shipment of fresh water and foodstuff from entering the village.
A sit-in that supporters of Sheikh Qassim have staged in front of his house to protect him against the regime forces has now entered its seventh month.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.