DUBAI – Jan 4- Bahrain severed its diplomatic ties with Iran on Monday, citing Iran’s “continued audacious and dangerous meddling in not only Bahrain’s internal affairs, but also in the internal affairs of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states,” making it the second country after Saudi Arabia to cut ties with Tehran. It further gave all Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave Bahrain and recalled Bahraini diplomats from Iran.
Throughout last year, tensions reigned the already shaky relationship between Tehran and most of its Arab neighbors on the other bank of the Gulf, with GCC states accusing Iran of supporting an insurgency in Yemen and Shiite minorities across their territories.
The relations hit rock bottom when Iranian protestors invaded and sabotaged both the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the Saudi general consulate in Mashhad on Saturday, January 2, in wake of Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Saudi Shiite cleric, Nimr Al Nimr on terrorism charges.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Al Nimr a “martyr” and said Saudi Arabia will face “divine revenge” for Nimr’s execution.
In a statement issued by the tiny Arab gulf kingdom, Bahrain accused Iran of smuggling arms and explosives as well as “supporting terrorists.” it further denounced the attack on both the Saudi Embassy and Saudi general consulate in Iran late Saturday, January 2.