Former British envoy: Bahrain all but a US, Saudi colony

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Monday, 28 May 2018

Britain’s former envoy to Bahrain says the Persian Gulf island has almost turned into a vassal state for the US and Saudi Arabia out of fear for its existence in the face of popular protests.

In an interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network on Sunday, Peter Ford said, “Bahrain has almost turned into a Saudi and American colony since the beginning of the protests” in 2011.

The ruling Al Khalifah family has been capitulating to Riyadh since this dynasty has become scared, said Ford, who served as Britain’s accredited ambassador to Manama for three years.

This fright is also the reason behind the proximity of Bahrain's position to the anti-Iran stance of the United States and Israel, he added.

Manama accuses Tehran of fueling the protests, which the Islamic Republic strongly denies. This is while years of discrimination has driven the grassroots to start opposing their rulers in the kingdom.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more imprisoned during Bahrain's crackdown on the protests. The regime has also stripped scores of its people of their citizenship, blaming them for "terrorism" or measures to undermine the country's security.

The ruling Bahraini regime has further aligned itself radically with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in their bid to demonize and isolate Iran.

Last December, a Bahraini delegation arrived in Israel with a message of “peace” from the country's king.

Recently, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa voiced support for Israel after Tel Aviv claimed it had hit “Iranian” targets in Syria’s Tel Aviv-occupied Golan Heights.

Sheikh Khalid twitted that Tel Aviv had a right to "defend itself" after Israel said it had carried out some 50 raids inside Syria.

Ford stepped down as an adviser to the Bahraini royal family after the remarks. The British Foreign Office, Ford said, did not welcome the resignation but the decision generated some “positive reactions” inside Bahrain.

"The Bahraini media were absolutely silent on this issue, and British Foreign Office officials were not happy with my resignation," he said.

Ford also warned Bahrain against throwing itself into the regional disputes, saying the tiny island would seriously be hurt if a wider conflict broke out.

"Bahrain will be at risk more than any other region in the event of a widespread conflict between Israel on the one hand, and Lebanon, Syria and Iran on the other, due to its proximity to Iran and the instability of Bahrain."

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