Iranians rally to denounce Bahrain-Saudi ties
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Last Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012, 22:02
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.


First Published: Friday, May 18, 2012, 22:02

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