Iran Making Its Move On Bahrain


Tiny Bahrain is a pillar of Washington’s military framework in the region. It hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is a critical counterbalance to Iran. But now, emboldened by Obama’s capitulation, the Iranians don’t see any force in the world with the will or the means to stop them. This is just the beginning of a great deal more unrest and instability fomented by the mullahs — and that will be Barack Obama’s most lasting legacy.

“Iran Making its Move on Bahrain,” by Michael Rubin, Commentary


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…Since President Obama has begun his outreach to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian attempts to destabilize Bahrain have accelerated. There have now been four weapons caches seized in country, and two interceptions of smuggling attempts by boat, and two by bus. Forensic analysis pointed directly to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy operating in Iraq. Tehran no longer tries to hide or deny its role. On July 18, for example, just days after President Obama triumphantly announced the deal, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said, “[Regardless of] the Iran deal text, approved or not, we won’t stop supporting the oppressed nation in Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, and Lebanon.” Ten days later, the Bahraini opposition apparently used C4 for the first time, killing two policemen.


The Iranian escalation does no one any good. If the United States and other states are forced to decide between reform and security in the face of Iranian provocation, reform is going to be cast by the wayside. Ordinary Bahrainis regardless of religion or religious sect will be caught in the crossfire if Iran transforms Bahrain into a proxy battleground.


At the same time, the increasing Iranian aggression toward Bahrain simply foreshadows the immediate future with Iran’s hardliners empowered by a deal which does little to constrain Iran’s nuclear program but much to empower the Iranian hardliners bent on regional transformation. Increasingly it seems that Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” speech really was little more than Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s “East of Suez” speech all over again.

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