Iran urges Manama rulers to free prominent Bahraini cleric

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham once again called for the freedom of Bahrain’s prominent Shiite cleric and opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, reiterating that resorting to security moves would never help resolve the problems of the tiny Persian Gulf island state.

“Those groups that have raised their demands in a completely peaceful manner are seriously expected to receive fair, rational and appropriate treatment,” Afkham said after the Bahraini regime sentenced Sheikh Salman to four years in jail.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman called on the Al Khalifa rulers in Manama to free Sheikh Salman from prison.

“Security approaches do not help resolve the problems in Bahrain, and holding talks and paying attention to the demands of moderate figures and groups definitely ensures security and tranquility and will render substantial help to the settlement of Bahrain’s problems,” she added.

On Tuesday, Al Wefaq party on its official Twitter account said that a court in Bahrain has sentenced Sheikh Salman to four years in jail.

The court acquitted Sheikh Salman of the charge of seeking regime change and instead convicted him of other charges, including collusion with foreign governments and instigating unrest.

The Manama regime arrested Sheikh Salman, the head of the country’s main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, last December, shortly after he called for serious political reforms in the Persian Gulf country following his re-election as the secretary general of al-Wefaq.

The 49-year-old has strongly denied the charges against him, emphasizing that he has been seeking reforms in the tiny island kingdom through peaceful means.

In a statement released on Monday, Amnesty International called on Bahraini authorities to release the prominent Shiite cleric “immediately and unconditionally.”

Amnesty also described Salman as “a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully expressing his views.”

By Fars News Agency