No evidence for Hizbullah/Iran in Bahrain

King Hamad just has a funny feeling:

‘King Hamad related the report that Bahrainis were receiving training from Hizballah in Lebanon, but admitted he had no definitive proof. He also speculated that the Syrian government was complicit, and &must be8 helping these Bahrainis &travel without passport verification as tourists.8 (Comment: Post has heard versions of this theory from Bahraini officials in the past, but despite our requests the GOB has been unable to provide convincing evidence.  King Hamad said Bahrain had received a message from Iranian FM Mottaki, urging regional governments to support the efforts of Iran, Iraqi insurgents, Hamas, Hizballah, Taliban and Syria to drive American forces from the Gulf. The King commented: &With friends like these, who needs enemies?8 The King expressed his gratitude for continued U.S. military presence in the region and, particularly, in Bahrain…”

The Bahraini regime will do its best to portray current uprisings as hardline Iranian-backed sectarian Shi’i protests in order to play on Western fears of a radical Shi’i bloc. Not only Western fears – the Saudi government is probably eyeing Bahrain nervously, wary of its own Shi’i minority in the eastern part of the kingdom. Yet Bahrain don’t have the oil wealth to buy off demonstrators, relying on their imported police force (some of whom speak little Arabic) to keep the tear gas coming…

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