GCC role in Bahrain troubling, Iran says

May 18, 2011 at 10:48 AM
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TEHRAN, May 18 (UPI) -- The continued presence of foreign military forces in Bahrain only makes the current crisis more difficult to handle, the Iranian foreign minister announced.

Tehran is upset with a decision by Saudi Arabia to send forces to Bahrain under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The minority Sunni leadership in Bahrain is struggling to control mounting frustration from the country's Shiite majority.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi protested the GCC intervention into Bahrain by saying there was no military solution to the crisis.

"There is no military solution to the Bahrain crisis, continued presence of foreign military forces in the country will further complicate the situation," he was quoted by the semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying.

The minister further called on Bahrain to exercise self-restraint when dealing with the Shiite uprising.

Iran faced international criticism over its human rights record and for its violent suppression of 2009 protests against the contested re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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