Renewed Crackdown on Bahraini Protesters Result of Trump’s Riyadh Visit: Iran’s FM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Al Khalifah regime's renewed crackdown on people to silence the voice of dissent in the Persian Gulf country was the first “concrete result” of US President Donald Trump “cozying up” to despots in Saudi Arabia.
"First concrete result of POTUS cozying up to despots in Riyadh: Deadly attack on peaceful protesters by emboldened Bahraini regime. Google it," Zarif said in a message posted on his official Twitter account on Tuesday.
Zarif's tweet came on the same day that Bahraini regime forces stormed into the residence of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the country’s Shiite majority in a northwestern village, arresting everyone inside the house.
It is not still clear whether Sheikh Qassim himself is among the detainees. However, reports suggest that he is now under house arrest.
According to reports, at least five people have been killed in the raid, and over 280 others have been arrested.
On Sunday, a Bahraini court sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison. Based on the verdict, the cleric’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) have been also confiscated. Moreover, Sheikh Qassim has been sentenced to pay a fine of 1,000 Bahraini dinars (about $2,650).
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.