Plot in Bahrain proves Iran back to its old tricks

Only last week, Iranian naval boats harasssed the aircraft carrier USS George H. W.

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Published: Mon 27 Mar 2017, 5:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 Mar 2017, 10:03 PM

When neighbours turn perennial trouble-makers, there can be no peace in the backyard. An alliance of equals is what the Gulf countries want of Tehran, but what it gets from the regime is conflict of the sectarian kind that only serves to destablise the region. Arabs and Iranians seek to lead their lives in peace, away from geopolitical rifts that have roiled the region for decades. Trouble began with the Iranian revolution, followed by the Iran-Iraq conflict that saw no real victor. The climate of suspicion continues till this day. Relations have gone downhill, all because the regime plays the sectarian card when it suits its interests, and stokes secessionism in Gulf countries. Bahrain has been at the centre of its plots for long and it has become common to unearth arms and break up militia funded by the Tehran regime. Two plots were busted this month alone in Bahrain. Meanwhile, Tehran is entrenched in Lebanon through Hezbollah. It's also trying to extend its clout in Yemen where the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia has made it eat humble pie. Iraq is another country where Tehran is keen to stamp its influence. Iran's role in Syria on the side of the Russians is well known. While all this is happening, Iran is busy needling the US Navy and test-firing ballistic missiles.
Only last week, Iranian naval boats harasssed the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush near the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran is not just testing the waters with these provocations, the regime wants to control the political and military script with allies like Russia and Syria. Gulf countries have countered Iran's deadly plans by enhancing intelligence-gathering and better surveillance. Arrests and interrogation of 11 suspects in Bahrain revealed they had received training and arms from Iran's Revolutionary Guards. When hegemony is all that the regime wants, the Gulf countries are forced to combat the tendency. Being equals is about making compromises. A Hajj deal was thrashed out by Riyadh and Tehran recently. The region needs more confidence-building measures from the two powers in the region, but it's disappointing that Iran is unwilling to meet the Gulf half way.


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