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DUBAI: Bahrain summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires yesterday in protest at “interference” by Tehran in the internal affairs of the kingdom, the foreign ministry said.
Tehran’s envoy Mahdi Islami was summoned “to address his country’s interference in the kingdom’s internal affairs through deliberately attributing false information to Bahraini officials,” the ministry said.
Undersecretary Hamad Al Amer told Iran’s envoy that his country’s “conduct incites sedition and sectarianism” in Bahrain, it said.
He also dismissed “claims” in Iranian media that Manama had requested Iranian mediation in domestic affairs as “false”.
“Any interference in Bahrain’s domestic affairs through mediation or other methods, as well as in dealing with its citizens, is unacceptable and would be an encroachment on its sovereignty and independence,” he said.
The protest followed a meeting between Iran’s representative and the spiritual leader of the Shia opposition, Ayatollah Issa Qassem.
The main opposition, Al Wefaq, said in a statement that the meeting between Islami and Qassem took place in response to a Bahraini demand for mediation.
Iran has been supportive of protests by Bahrain’s Shiite against the Saudi-backed monarchy, sparking a diplomatic crisis not only with the small kingdom but also with the area’s economic powerhouse.