The volatile state of affairs in Bahrain has acquired a bigger regional dimension once Iran warned Gulf countries may pay a significant worth for his or her military intervention — led by Saudi Arabian troops and backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — in Manama.
On Tuesday, on a daily basis once troops flashing victory signs from their armoured vehicles crossed the 40-km causeway into Bahrain, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the “presence of foreign forces and interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs is unacceptable and can additional complicate the issue”. He added recourse to violence ought to be avoided as Bahraini individuals “have some legitimate demands and that they are expressing them peacefully”. excluding one,000 troops from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, beneath the auspices of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has contributed five hundred men for policing duties in Bahrain.
Rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing for regional influence, together with in Bahrain where a Shia majority is clamouring for democratic reforms that are being resisted by a Saudi-backed Sunni monarchy.
If tensions spiral, Bahrain, that is additionally home to the yank Navy’s Fifth Fleet, may emerge as a proxy battlefront for international and regional adversaries, analysts say.
On Tuesday, Bahrain state tv announced that a three-month state of emergency has been declared to defuse the month-long political unrest.
A statement by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa said the nation’s chief of the defense force had been authorised to require all measures to quell the month-long protests.
The influx of foreign troops gave capital Manama the looks of a ghost city on Tuesday, with retailers shuttered and searching malls closed. Sitra, an opposition stronghold, had youth on the streets implementing checkpoints of their own — signalling a drop within the authority of the state in bound town areas. By afternoon, protesters had gathered in strength at the emblematic Pearl Roundabout, the epicentre of the revolt, able to march on the Saudi embassy many kilometres away in protest against the sudden entry of Saudi troops. The Bahrain’s General Federation of staff Trade Union has conjointly announced an open-ended strike to strengthen the uprising.
Earlier the opposition issued a press release, slamming what it known as the country’s “overt occupation” by foreign troops. “We contemplate the arrival of any soldier, or military vehicle, into Bahraini territory…. an overt occupation of the dominion of Bahrain and a conspiracy against the unarmed individuals of Bahrain,” the statement browse.
The entry of foreign forces at Bahrain’s invite followed a spate of protests on Sunday. Thousands blocked Bahrain’s money centre, whereas at the Pearl Roundabout protesters battled a police arrange to eject them. Police conjointly clashed with youth at the Bahrain University.
Observers say the invite of foreign troops has become a “game changer” because it has severely undermined the prospects of a dialogue with the regime. Stressing “stability”, Bahrain’s Crown Prince said in an exceedingly recent televised look that any “legitimate claims should not be created at the expense of security and stability”. On Tuesday, outside forces didn’t have a clear street presence, however were reportedly deployed within the Riffa space, home to palaces of the regime.