Iranian top cleric urges Manama to fulfil Bahraini shias’ demands

Tasnim – Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi condemned the Manama regime for attacking the house of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, urging the Bahraini rulers to meet the legitimate demands of the people.

In a statement released on Saturday, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi denounced the recent raid on the house of Sheikh Qassim as “a cowardly attack”, saying the regime blindly followed the lead of Saudi Arabia and the US.

By kidnapping the great cleric and killing and injuring dozens of people and arresting many others, the Al Khalifa rulers added “a new dark page to the history of their sinister deeds”, the Iranian cleric said.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi further warned that if the Bahraini rulers continue to follow suit of the Washington and Riyadh regimes, they will face the fate of fromer Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and other tryarnts.

The statement comes as the Bahraini people continue nationwide demonstrations in various cities and villages in solidarity with Sheikh Qassim.

During peaceful rallies in the past few days, protesters condemned the ruling Al Khalifa regime for attacking the house of Sheikh Qassim.

In the raid on Monday, regime forces shot dead at least six demonstrators, wounded dozens and arrested over 280 people.

The raid followed a Bahraini court ruling on Sunday that sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison. Based on the verdict, the cleric’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) have been also confiscated. Moreover, Sheikh Qassim has been sentenced to pay a fine of 1,000 Bahraini dinars (about $2,650).

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.