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MP: Bahrain, S Arabia Back US Interests

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 8 (ICANA) – Bahraini and Saudi Arabian regimes have been committed to serving American interests in the Middle East, an Iranian lawmaker says.
Sunday, May 08, 2011 7:05:43 PM
MP: Bahrain, S Arabia Back US Interests

“Besides having economic transactions [with the US], these countries (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) have been under the support of the US and in return they are bound to protect its (Washington's) interests in the region,” Ali Aqazade Dafsari, a member of Iranian Parliament (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee told ICANA.

Dafsari pointed to the US Navy Fifth Fleet in Bahrain saying, the commitment of these countries to Washington is not merely limited to military issues, and they have other political and economic deals with America.

The recent popular uprisings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have increased their reliance on the military might of global powers, the Iranian lawmaker further added.

Dafsari rules out the allegations leveled by [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council about Iran's interference in the popular uprisings in Bahrain and Yemen, saying the council has engaged in psychological projection to pass the blame for the public discontent in those countries on Iran.

Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain have poured into the streets, calling for an end to al-Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for almost forty years.

On March 13, Saudi-led forces were dispatched to the Persian Gulf island at Manama's request to quell countrywide protests.

According to local sources, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds arrested so far during the government clampdown on the peaceful demonstrations.

Meanwhile, protesters in Saudi Arabia have been holding rallies against the monarchy across the kingdom over the past few months.

Protesters condemn Riyadh's continued imprisonment of people without charge and its suppression of women's rights. The unemployed have been calling for job opportunities and their share of the biggest Arab economy's oil income.

Such protests are usually suppressed by Saudi security forces. In April, a Human Rights Watch report said the authorities had arrested over 160 activists since February.

Saudi Arabia does not have a parliament. Instead, it has a consultative Shura Council, which is totally an appointed body, aimed at providing the king with consultations on policies, laws, and other matters.

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