Iran FM warns `no force` against Bahrain`s protests

Last Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 22:55

Tehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali
Akbar Salehi on Monday demanded that Bahraini leaders be wise and
not use violence in their handling of anti-government
protests, the state-run Fars news agency reported.

Salehi said the Bahraini authorities should avoid
using "violence and force against the population", adding that
Iran expects "the Bahraini government to be wise in responding
to the demands of protesters and respecting their rights."

Protests flared up in Bahrain on February 14 and seven
people died in a subsequent crackdown on demonstrations,
according to an AFP tally based on relatives of victims and
opposition officials.

Opposition protesters are demanding far-reaching
democratic reform in the mainly Shiite country which has been
ruled by a Sunni Muslim dynasty for more than 200 years.

Bahrain`s opposition said Monday it considered any
foreign military intervention to be an occupation, after a
Saudi official said the kingdom`s troops had entered the
neighbouring Gulf state.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday urged
Bahrain to undertake rapid and significant reform, citing
concerns in Washington that the longer the instability dragged
on the more likely Iran, a Shiite theocracy, would
profit.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 22:55

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