U.S. officials believe Iran helped foment recent anti-American riots in Bahrain
U.S. embassy officials in Manama believe Iran helped foment anti-American riots which took place recently in Bahrain just as the Bush administration requested a substantial increase in military aid to Bahrain as part of the U.S.-led war against terrorism.
The administration's request comes as the Defense Department intends to boost U.S. military assets in the kingdom. Bahrain is one of several Gulf Cooperation Council countries meant to receive aircraft and other systems that have been removed from Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is also home for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Arab Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
According to press reports, an American official said the embassy in Manama has forwarded information to Washington that Shi'ite groups loyal to Iran commandeered what was to have been pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the kingdom. The embassy’s reports concluded that prior to the demonstrations scores of people prepared firebombs and ladders to attack the embassy.
"The Bahrainis have found both equipment and piles of material that was prepared before the demonstration in a planned attack on the embassy," the official said, quoted by the World Tribune. "It is clear that those who organized this are aligned with Iran."
In all, one local protester was killed and more than 600 were injured in two anti-U.S. demonstrations last week. In the latest protest on April 10, dozens were injured when Bahraini troops fired rubber bullets and tear gas. (Albawaba.com)
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