Iranian Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi has called for the examination of the citizenship of Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah family as criticism mounts over Manama’s revocation of the citizenship of a top Shia cleric.
“What impartial international organizations should now examine is the citizenship status of the Al Khalifah in Bahrain,” Firouzabadi said on Wednesday.
The Iranian commander was reacting to a recent decision by the Manama regime to strip Sheikh Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s most senior Shia cleric, of his citizenship. The move sparked international criticism.
Firouzabadi said such a review, if carried out, would save the Bahraini people from more repression, adding that international bodies should also study the mysteries surrounding the 1961 death of Isa bin Salman Al Khalifah, the father of the current ruler of Bahrain.
Firouzabadi said the Al Khalifah was propped up by Saudi Arabia through assistance from Britain, adding that the ruling class in Bahrain is comprised of “pirates” that have turned the country into a prison for torturing people.
The Iranian commander said people in Bahrain are fed up with the repressive government, saying they eagerly wait for the emancipation of their nation from the hands of Saudi mercenaries.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has seen a wave of anti-government protests since mid-February 2011. Manama’s heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations with the help of Saudi Arabia has left scores of people dead and hundreds more injured.