Iran expels Bahrain diplomat in tit-for-tat move

Iran has asked a Bahraini diplomat to leave the country in reprisal for the expulsion of one of the Islamic republic`s diplomats from Manama.

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 12:11 PM IST

Tehran: Iran has asked a Bahraini diplomat
to leave the country in reprisal for the expulsion of one of the Islamic republic`s diplomats from Manama, the official
IRNA news agency reported.

"After the illogical and incomprehensible actions of the
Bahrain government, especially expelling one of our diplomats,
as a reprisal the attache at Bahrain`s embassy has been
summoned and told that one of the embassy`s diplomats must
leave Iran," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
said.

"Responding to the legitimate demands of the population
guarantees the stability and permanence of governments, while
the repression of peaceful protests and illogical actions only
aggravate the crisis and deepen wounds," he said.

Iran on Wednesday recalled its ambassador from Bahrain
"in protest at the killing of the people of Bahrain by its
government," a day after Manama recalled its ambassador from
Tehran, citing Iran`s "blatant interference" in its affairs.

Tehran said Manama had made a "strategic mistake" in
asking Gulf troops to help quell pro-democracy protests in the
tiny kingdom.

Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the official IRNA news
agency that Sunni Muslim-ruled but Shiite-majority Bahrain had
committed a "strategic and political" blunder that would cost
its "legitimacy."
At least three people died on Wednesday when security
forces firing tear gas and shotguns assaulted a month-old
pro-democracy camp in the central Pearl Square roundabout of
the Bahraini capital.

Hundreds of people were wounded in the unrest, and the
government has been accused of crimes against international
law for sealing off hospitals and assaulting doctors who tried
to tend to the wounded.
The kingdom`s rulers invited troops from Saudi Arabia and
other Gulf states into the tiny island state to help boost
security, a move which infuriated Iran and provoked outrage
from the mainly Shiite opposition.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in a phone call with
his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, on Sunday insisted on
"the necessity for foreign forces to leave Bahrain," which is
also home to the US Fifth Fleet, IRNA said.

PTI