Saudi, UAE have betrayed Bahrainis, Iran says

The ‘massacre’ of protesters in the Gulf kingdom will be remembered, says parliament speaker Ali Larijani
Saudi, UAE have betrayed Bahrainis, Iran says
Bahrain protesters shown attending a funeral on Friday 18 March
By Joanne Bladd
Sun 20 Mar 2011 10:37 AM

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have betrayed the people of Bahrain
by sending in troops to end weeks of unrest in the Gulf kingdom, Iran’s
parliament said.

“The massacre of Bahraini people in this critical condition
will be kept in the minds of the regional nations as a great betrayal,” Iranian
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said in an interview with al-Alam TV.

Eleven protesters have been killed in nearly a month of
anti-government demonstrations in the island that prompted the king to declare
martial law and call in troops from neighbouring Gulf states.

At least nine opposition activists have been arrested, including
two doctors from Manama's largest public hospital, which remains surrounded by
troops.

Larijani said the US, which houses its fifth naval fleet in
Bahrain, has avoided direct intervention in the uprisings in favour of pressuring
Saudi Arabia and the UAE to send troops.

“On the other hand, they [Americans] don't want the ruling
regime out [of power] so they ordered Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stop Bahrain's
popular uprising,” he said.  

Analysts warned last week that the arrival of Gulf troops in
Bahrain could prompt Iran to join the conflict, under the guise of offering
protection to protesting Shi’ites in the kingdom.

“I think we are moving to a new chapter… It has the
potential of pulling in Iran rhetorically as well as physically,” said Theodore
Karasik of the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

“It is the proxy war they [Iran and the Gulf states] have
been having that has come through various cycles and is now coming to a head.”

Iran has denied rumours that it is backing Shiite activists
in the kingdom.

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