Bahrain, US call for extension of Iran arms embargo

Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayyani, right is seen with US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook during a press conference late on Monday. — BNA photo

Saudi Gazette report

MANAMA — Bahrain and the United States pledged to counter Iranian aggression in the region as the US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook held talks with the Bahraini leadership late Monday.

Hook, who was in Saudi Arabia on Monday, flew to Manama later in the day and met with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayyani.

Following the meeting, both sides issued a joint statement, accusing Iran of seeking to undermine Bahrain’s security by fomenting sectarian tensions and providing arms to proxy groups and terrorists and called for the renewal of arms embargo on Iran.

“The United States of America and the Kingdom of Bahrain share a strong and enduring commitment to countering Iranian aggression. The Islamic Republic of Iran has sought to undermine the stability and security of Bahrain by fomenting sectarian tensions and providing arms to proxy groups and terrorists. Despite these actions, Bahrain has remained true to its values and continues to prioritize peaceful coexistence and religious freedom for all its people. The United States remains committed to Bahrain’s security and to a deep and effective partnership to counter Iranian-backed terror,” according to the statement carried by state news agency BNA.

“In recognizing the grave threat posed by Iranian arms transfers in the region, and in Bahrain specifically, the United States and Bahrain call upon the United Nations Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires.”

“The embargo is an important tool to counter Iran’s proliferation of arms to proxies. It promotes greater regional stability and holds Iran accountable for its actions. We have seen what Iran is capable of in its attack on Saudi oil facilities in September 2019. If the international community fails to extend the embargo, the Kingdom of Bahrain and neighboring partners will suffer the consequences of a destabilizing arms race. The Security Council must uphold its responsibility to maintain international peace and security and extend the arms embargo on Iran,” the statement added.