TEHRAN – The Foreign Ministry director for the Persian Gulf and the Middle East Department has said that the security pact which resulted in the creation of the Peninsula Shield Force between the PGCC states does not legitimize military intervention in Bahrain by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“Legal studies show that the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council’s joint defense agreement is aimed at repelling foreign threats not to take action against the regional nations,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told the Mehr News Agency on Wednesday.
In 1984, the PGCC decided to create a joint military force called the Peninsula Shield Force. The Peninsula Shield Force is intended to deter, and respond to, military aggression against any of the PGCC member countries namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain and other Persian Gulf Arab states assert that the dispatch of the Saudi and UAE troops to Bahrain has been carried out based on the Peninsula Shield security pact.
The Iranian diplomat also rejected the claim that Iran is meddling in Bahrain’s internal affairs, saying those Arab countries which have sent troops to Bahrain to suppress people are interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
“The Bahraini people are looking after their demands through peaceful means and their demands should be responded to without resorting to violence,” he asserted.
“We don’t approve of using violence and through issuing statements and taking stances have called on the Bahraini government to avoid resorting to violence against people,” he stated.
He went on to say that Iranian officials were surprised as the PGCC decided to send military forces to Bahrain, adding Tehran believes that the presence of foreign forces in Bahrain only makes the situation worse.
“The continuation of the presence of foreign forces in Bahrain would set a dangerous and inappropriate precedent,” he added.
Citing Peninsula Shield is ‘bitter irony’
Rapporteur of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Kazem Jalali has also said that citing the Peninsula Shield security pact to legitimize the dispatch of foreign troops to Bahrain to quell a popular uprising is a “bitter irony.”
“Countries can sign agreements to support each other when attacked by other countries, but in Bahrain we are witnessing that the Saudi and UAE forces have intervened to put down people and trying to justify the military intervention by citing such agreements is bitter irony,” Jalali told the Mehr News Agency on Wednesday.
“Killing of innocent Bahraini people is unjustifiable and every person condemns the people who are behind the brutal massacre of Bahrainis,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the top legislator criticized the Arab League for its double standard toward the popular uprisings in Libya and Bahrain.
“In the case of Libya, the Arab League cancels the country’s membership, but in the case of Bahrain it even does not allow the media to cover the crimes against people and convey the voice of the oppressed Bahraini nation,” he added.
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