Middle East

Bahrain withdraws ambassador from Iran after bomb: factory find

Bahraini protesters hold placards bearing the portrait of Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the Shiite opposition movement Al-Wefaq, during a demonstration against his arrest and to mark Bahrain's independence day, on August 14, 2015, in the village of Diraz, west of the capital Manama. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

CAIRO: Bahrain said on Thursday it had recalled its ambassador to Iran, a day after it said security forces had discovered a large bomb-making factory and arrested a number of suspects linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had also declared the Iranian charge d'affaires in Bahrain a "persona non grata" and gave him 72 hours to leave the country.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said the decision to recall its ambassador had come "in light of continued Iranian meddling in the affairs of the kingdom of Bahrain ... in order to create sectarian strife and to impose hegemony and control".

The Gulf Arab kingdom has been cracking down on militants behind recent bomb attacks on security forces that killed several people this year.

Iran denies involvement in any violence in Bahrain.

In March, Bahrain's public prosecutor said it seized bomb-making equipment being smuggled from Iraq aboard a passenger bus for use in attacks in Bahrain.

Home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, Bahrain was swept by protests during the 2011 "Arab Spring" uprisings in which Shi'ites demanded political reforms.

The government has denied any discrimination.

 

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