by: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 | Normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain is another significant and painful blow to Iran’s soft belly. However, unlike in the case of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain is of particular historical, religious and political importance to Iran.
Bahrain, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, is located right in the middle of the Iranian “lion’s jaws.” It hosts the US Navy’s main naval base of the Fifth Fleet in the Gulf region and representatives of the Royal British Navy.
Since the outbreak of the Arab Spring, Iran has acted with perseverance, principally via the Revolutionary Guards, to destabilize the Bahraini Kingdom and bring down the minority Sunni rule over the Shiite majority. The decision by Bahrain, with the backing of Saudi Arabia, to normalize relations is expected to lead to an increase in Iranian subversion efforts in the kingdom.
Saying the US–Gulf objective is to make the Palestinian territories safe for Israel, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard declared this project will never be fulfilled, and, on the contrary, it will give Muslim nations a stronger determination to “eliminate the cancerous tumor, Israel.”
In the dramatic course of normalizing relations with Israel, it appears that Bahrain openly chose the American shield against Iran’s looming shadow, showing the disconnect between normalization with Israel and solving the Palestinian problem.
Will Iran, showing a genuine fear of the “Zionist presence” in the Persian Gulf region, attempt to carry out a Crimean-style invasion of Bahrain to restore what it believes to belong to Iran, endangering a direct confrontation with the United States? It is likely that Iran has discussed such a scenario and has contingency plans to implement it.
Posted on September 22, 2020
Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on September 21, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)
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