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Iran rejects Bahrain's 'baseless, repetitive' terrorism accusations

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

Iran has rejected as "baseless and repetitive" Bahraini government’s claim that the Persian Gulf kingdom has arrested a 116-member terrorist cell with links to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

"Playing a blame game and drawing up repetitive scenarios as well as [leveling] baseless accusations against others will not solve the Bahraini government's problems with its citizens," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday.

"We once again urge Bahraini officials to prepare the ground for interaction and dialogue with their own people instead of intensifying security and police approaches," he added.

An official statement on Bahrain’s state news agency, BNA, said on Saturday that the country's police had arrested 116 people over alleged links to terrorism as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on political dissident.

It added that regime forces had detained 116 members of a “terror" cell and thwarted a number of attacks across the country while seizing large quantities of arms and explosives.

The Bahraini government's statement also claimed that the suspects had links to the IRGC.

Iran has always denied supporting any bid to overthrow the government in Bahrain.

A key ally of Washington and home to the US Fifth Fleet, the Manama regime has drawn harsh criticism from international rights groups over its crackdown on dissent.

Dozens of Bahraini people have been jailed and stripped of citizenship since a popular uprising began in the tiny Persian Gulf state in mid-February 2011. The kingdom has also deported some of its citizens after revoking their nationalities.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament and king approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide. 

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