BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Bahraini Defense Minister Sheik Khalifa bin Hamad says possession of nuclear weapons by Israel and Iran poses a serious threat to Gulf security.
"The possession of non-conventional arms by certain countries in the region such as Israel and Iran constitutes a direct threat to Gulf countries," Khalifa said Thursday in comments to the Saudi daily al-Hayat, which is monitored in Beirut.
"Wars by any means and arms pose great dangers on the security, stability and prosperity of the region," he added.
Khalifa also warned a civil war in Iraq, presumably between Sunnis and Shiites, would set the whole Gulf region on fire.
"Wars are the greatest danger on this vital and strategic region in view of the existence of oil," he said.
He assured no al-Qaida cells were active in Bahrain, but added, "We will not be lenient with terrorism and our forces can deter any danger."