Senior Iranian cleric slams Bahraini regime’s moves against Sheikh Qassim

Tasnim – Director of Iran’s Islamic Seminaries Ayatollah Alireza A’arafi denounced the Manama regime for repressing dissent in the Arab country and for its moves against Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority.

“The steps taken by Bahrain’s regime against its noble people…, especially scholars and the clergy, make history’s (vile despots) look good,” Ayatollah Arafi said in a statement released on Wednesday.

He condemned Bahraini rulers’ recent measures against Sheikh Qassim and other Muslim scholars and warned Manama to immediately change such policies.

Ayatollah Arafi further deplored world bodies’ silence over the ongoing crackdown on Bahraini people and support for the Al Khalifa regime by Saudi Arabia and the world arrogance.

Last week, Bahraini regime forces stormed into the residence of Sheikh Qassim in the village of Diraz, arresting everyone inside the house.

Reports suggest that the Bahrain top cleric is now under house arrest.

At least six people were reportedly killed in the raid, and over 280 others were arrested.

The raid came a few days after a Bahraini court sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison. Based on the verdict, the cleric’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) were also confiscated. Moreover, Sheikh Qassim was sentenced to pay a fine of 100,000 Bahraini dinars (about $265,000).

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.