Bahram Qassemi

Bahrain court ruling on al-Wefaq unconstructive: Iran

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says a decision by a Bahraini court to dissolve the country’s main Shia opposition movement, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, is unconstructive.

The so-called administrative court in the capital, Manama, on Sunday ordered the dissolution of al-Wefaq and the seizure of its funds after the Bahraini Justice Ministry had suspended the opposition group’s activities on June 14.

“Such measures will open the way for those who are after non-civilian approaches,” Bahram Qasemi said on Sunday.

He added that the court’s decision to dissolve the bloc was in line with organized efforts to mount pressure on moderate figures and societies in Bahrain.

“Such measures by the Bahraini government indicate that they [officials] do not seek to solve the ongoing problems and such acts will further complicate the situation,” the Iranian spokesperson pointed out.

Qasemi emphasized that the dissolution of moderate societies and revocation of the citizenship of political and religious leaders who are respected by the Bahraini people would not serve the interests of the country’s government.

He urged Bahraini officials to avoid violent approaches and to adopt confidence-building measures in an attempt to prepare the necessary ground for serious and constructive talks in the country.

The dissolution of al-Wefaq, the latest move as part of a wide crackdown on political dissent in Bahrain, is likely to prompt more protests in the country, whose embattled regime has faced an uprising since 2011.

Various human rights organizations had already condemned the suspension, labeling it is part of a new crackdown on dissent.

Al-Wefaq’s secretary general, Sheikh Ali Salman, has been in prison since December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers, charges he has denied. A court sentenced him to four years in prison in June 2015.

The spiritual leader of the group, Sheikh Issa Qassim, has also been stripped of his Bahraini citizenship over similar accusations. On Saturday, the public prosecutor in Bahrain said the cleric will go on trial early next month on charges of “illegal fund collections and money laundering,” without providing an exact date.

Since February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on an almost daily basis, calling for the Al Khalifah regime to relinquish power.

In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — themselves repressive Arab regimes — were deployed to the country to help in the crackdown on peaceful protests.

By Press TV