Tehran 'a threat to security' says Bahrain minister
Manama, December 9, 2012
Iran is on a collision course with the region and must be stopped from developing nuclear weapons, Bahrain's Foreign Minister told delegates at a major security forum in Manama yesterday.
Speaking during the Manama Dialogue at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa described Iran as a threat to regional security and accused Tehran of continuing to issue inflammatory statements targeting GCC countries, said a report in the Gulf Daily news, our sister newspaper.
He said the seriousness of these threats could not be overstated.
"That nation is on a dangerous collision course and they have to be stopped from doing what they are," Shaikh Khalid was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News.
"Iran's decision to continue to pursue a nuclear programme with a lack of sufficient transparency is steering the region to a dangerous collision course, presenting a real and immediate hard challenge to national security.
"The threats are many here and the Iranians continue to issue statements threatening vital international trade routes and the sovereignty of the GCC states."
Iran has refused to send an official delegation to the Manama Dialogue, despite being invited by organisers at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
Addressing a session on priorities for regional security, Shaikh Khalid said Bahrain should be given credit for the pace at which it had implemented reforms - saying no other country had made so much progress in such a short space of time.
However, he said the process was continuing and there was still some way to go.
"We have not yet completely implemented what we set out to do, but we have gone a long way," he said.
The Foreign Minister added the process was not easy, but said a domestic solution must be given time to bear fruit.
"It is not always easy," he said. "Sometimes things do take time, but we are committed to reforms. However, I must emphasise domestic processes must be respected and must be given an opportunity to fully be seen through.
"Bahrain has always found domestic solutions for its respective issues and the success of these has been demonstrated in the fact that over the past decade, we have continued to be regarded as a regional leader in reforms characterised not only by our domestic issues, but also how we have emerged from them."
He stressed Bahrain was able to solve its own problems and did not need any outside help.
"We do not want any outside help or foreign intervention, which will make things only more difficult," he said.
The minister added Bahrain was determined to be a partner in guaranteeing regional security.
"Bahrain has continued to view itself not only as a stakeholder, but also a security partner in the region," he said. – TradeArabia News Service
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