Tehran: Iranians rallied on Friday to denounce efforts by Bahrain`s Sunni rulers to forge closer ties with Saudi Arabia, a pact the Shiite powerhouse Iran claims would go against the will of the tiny island nation`s majority Shiites.
Iran`s anger is directed at archrival Saudi Arabia, which has been acting as a protector of Bahrain`s ruling Sunni dynasty. It was set off by efforts earlier this week by Gulf Arab states to outline closer political and security ties among their nations.
Though a decision on a Gulf Arab pact was postponed at a meeting in Riyadh on Monday, the gathering itself upset Tehran, which summoned Bahrain`s top diplomat in the country late yesterday to relay its concerns, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Bahrain has been rocked by an uprising in which the Shiite-led opposition seeks to overturn the wide-ranging powers of the ruling Sunni dynasty. At least 50 people have died in the unrest since February 2011.
Bahrain`s rulers and their patron Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of encouraging the protests, claims that Tehran has denied. Iran and Bahrain have occasionally summoned each other`s envoys since the beginning of Bahrain`s unrest.