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Is Proxy War About to Erupt in Bahrain?

The language and actions of the Iranian government strongly indicate it is preparing for war in Bahrain.

by
Ryan Mauro

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April 14, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Anyone who has seen the Iranian regime’s film The Coming is Near knows the Middle East is on the verge of exploding. The question is what spark will light it. The region seems to shift daily, but right now, it looks like Iran has chosen Bahrain as the place to pounce.

Iran views Bahrain as ripe for the picking. The pro-American royal family is Sunni, but about 70 percent of the population is Shiite. It faced a popular uprising that had a strong possibility of removing it from power. That uprising was only put down with brute force and intervention from Saudi and Emirati soldiers on March 14. The saving of the Bahraini government does not sit well with Iran and it is poised to wage proxy warfare in response. This would not be unprecedented, as Iran did the same thing in 2009 by supporting the Houthi rebels in their war against the Yemeni government backed by the Saudi military. ,

Hossein Naqavi, a member of the Iranian Majiles’ National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has explicitly threatened war, declaring: “The Saudis should know for a fact that Tehran will use all the power and potentials at its disposal to halt the oppression of the people in Iran.” He said the United Nations must act to force the Saudi forces out of Bahrain or Iran will. The Shura Council also warned the Saudis that they are “playing with fire,” a remark which the Saudis meekly referred to as “irresponsible.” Now, Iranian “students” have firebombed the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Hezbollah has offered its support for the uprising in Bahrain and the royal family is accusing the terrorist group of training some of its opponents. Hezbollah’s statement could be brushed off as rhetoric if it weren’t for the fact that a website has been registered by the Iranian government to recruit volunteer fighters to go to Bahrain and battle forces sent by the Gulf Cooperation Council. The website, which is tied to Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, says it will email those who register with instructions that include “martyrdom” operations. It claims that nearly 2,000 volunteers have signed up, 60 percent of whom are from Iran and 18 percent of whom are from Bahrain. Another government-run website published a letter from Shiites in Bahrain asking for Iranian intervention.

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