Qatar, Iran meddling in Bahrain

Qatar, Iran meddling in Bahrain

"These communications had set the ground for launching a Qatari initiative for the crisis"

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Mustafa Al Zarooni

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2017, 10:02 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Jun 2017, 12:11 AM

A report published by the Bahraini daily Al Watan on Thursday revealed the Qatari interference in Bahrain's internal affairs during the 2011 crisis. The report said that Doha worked with Tehran to topple the regime in the kingdom.

The report shed light on communications between Doha and Tehran and the dissolved Al Wefaq Islamic Association despite the latter's involvement in a conspiracy to topple the regime, and its suspicious connections with Tehran.

"These communications had set the ground for launching a Qatari initiative for the crisis, with key elements included formation of an interim government in Bahrain and an official request demanding the withdrawal of the Arabian Peninsula shield forces from Manama," the report claimed.

Details contained in the report showed that former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani in March 2011 made extensive contacts with Al Wefaq Islamic Association secretary-general Ali Salman, shortly before the entry of Arabian Peninsula forces into Bahrain. The Qatari official offered, during his phone calls, a number of ideas, which he later described as the Qatari initiative for Manama.

"Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani asked the Al Wefaq Islamic Association to coordinate with its other allies to ensure protesters' continued rallying at the GCC Roundabout, so as to allow Qatar to mount pressure on the Bahrain government to remove all checkpoints and security forces from roads and open them for public," the report said.

The former Qatari prime minister's plan also suggested the association to open a national dialogue process as soon as possible in which its political demands will be discussed.

Under the so-called 'Qatari Initiative', the government of Bahrain was required to implement four essential steps - guaranteeing the right of demonstration by all citizens; Bahrain TV to go off air; release of all those detained in the incidents and formation of a care taker government within two months.

The report also stated that the provocatively proposed ideas by the Qatari official also included suggestions to the WIA on the cancellation of the state of national safety in the country and withdrawal of Arabian Peninsula forces.

Al Thani told WIA that his country would not be a part of the GCC joint force, and even if it joins the force its participation will only be symbolic. WIA accepted the ideas, especially after Hamad bin Jassim assured them that Doha will be the main sponsor of the initiative. Later, the Qatari government tabled these ideas before the Government of Bahrain which categorically rejected them, considering them as a meddling in its internal affairs.

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