The Iranian terrorism octopus extended its reach into the neighboring country of Bahrain recently, home to a major United States Navy base. However, their plots were apparently foiled as the Bahrainis on Saturday announced they arrested more than 100 suspected terrorists part of a group created and backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), as well as confiscated a variety of weapons and explosives. A report from the government-affiliated Bahrain News Agency said that four dozen of the terrorists were trained at facilities belonging to the IRGC—Iran’s most powerful paramilitary group that includes forces used to conduct international attacks.
The Bahrainis believe that the terror network intended to target government officials and oil infrastructure “with the objective of disturbing public security and harming the national economy,” the Bahrain News Agency said. The plot in Bahrain comes as Iran has been actively involved in Syria and Yemen’s civil wars, sponsors Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, has allies in Iraq and recently infiltrated Israeli airspace with a drone in an unusual escalation.
Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs at the IDC Herzliya in Israel and a Middle East expert, told The Mideast Update in an email that Iranian actions in Bahrain are “not new,” but that the Iranian ambitions are growing. “This is the latest evidence of IRGC subversive efforts,” said Dr. Spyer on Sunday. “Iran currently feels emboldened due to its successes in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.”
Among the weapons apprehended by Bahrain included machine guns, grenades, and additional explosives. That included four “fragmentation bombs” that can be fired from a rocket-propelled-grenade-launcher for attacking lightly-armored vehicles, according to the Bahrain News Agency. The report noted that three of the bombs had components that are correspond to those built by the Iranian explosive industry.
The Bahrain News Agency report accused the IRGC and its allies such as Hezbollah of being “directly responsible for the intensification of terrorist activity in Bahrain.”
The arrests came the same week that the US, France, Germany and Great Britain jointly condemned Iran following a report showing the Islamic Republic is not complying with an arms embargo related to Yemen’s conflict.
Last week’s statement, which was published by the US Mission to the United Nations, noted that the report from the Panel of Experts on Yemen found that Iran did not fail to prevent the provision of a variety of Iranian weapons from being sent to Yemeni rebels. Those weapons include short-range missiles and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.
“These findings are of great concern. It is crucial that Iran does not carry out any action that is inconsistent with or would violate [UN] Security Council resolutions, and thereby risk destabilizing the security of the region and increasing the threat of broader conflict,” said the joint statement.
“We condemn such actions, support efforts to prevent further escalation of tensions in the Middle East and call on all countries to guarantee the full implementation of all Security Council resolutions.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 4, 2018)