Reports Contradict on Bahrain-Iran Economic Deal
Iranian and Bahraini press reports have given contradictory accounts of an economy agreement reportedly signed during a visit by Bahrain’s Trade Minister Ali Saleh Abdullah al-Saleh to Tehran.
While the Bahrain Tribune newspaper reported that the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation in the fields of banking, joint investments, and other sectors,” the Iranian news agency (IRNA) said that the Bahraini minister declined to sign the deal, saying “he had to consult his government for certain paragraphs comprised therein.”
Al-Saleh, according to IRNA, asked to put off the deal to a later date, but stressed that its postponement would not affect the achievements of his visit to Tehran.
The Bahraini minister arrived in Tehran on Monday with a large economic delegation and met Tuesday with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, said the Tribune.
Khatami was quoted by IRNA saying that "the development of friendly relations between Iran and Bahrain is an important support for the security of their two countries and their political relations."
"Nothing can be more important and have more influence on the stability and security of the region than the collaboration and understanding of the countries in the region," he added.
Bahrain normalized relations with Iran in 1996.
The Gulf state had accused Tehran of being behind troubles in the country, where a Sunni ruling family governs a mainly Shiite population – Albawaba.com