Bahrain: Normalization of relations with Israel will protect us from Iran

Ahead of the signing of an agreement on establishment of diplomatic relations, the Bahraini interior minister issued a statement in which he said that it does not represent neglect of the Palestinian issue but rather strengthening of the security and economic security of the residents of Bahrain 

A protest in Gaza against the agreement with Bahrain at the end of last week. Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mastafa

Ahead of the signing of the documents for establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel this evening in Washington, the interior minister of Bahrain issued a statement which said that the normalization of ties with Israel will defend the interests of Bahrain and strengthen its partnership with the US "amid the ongoing threat from Iran".

The interior minister of the Persian Gulf state, Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, wrote in the statement "It is not an abandonment of the Palestinian cause, it is to strengthen Bahrainis' security and their economic stability." He added that "Iran has chosen to behave in a dominating way in several forms and has become a constant danger that harms our internal security."  

Reuters reported that Bahrain hosts a large base of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, and that its government has often accused Tehran of attempting to subvert Bahrain, whose leadership is Sunni while the regime in Iran is Shiite. Bahrain is also suffering economic difficulties and a budget deficit.

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