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Iran Slams Bahrain's "Provocative" Gulf Military Conference

2019-08-13 - 6:29 p

Bahrain Mirror- AFP: Iran on Thursday hit out at Bahrain for hosting a "provocative" conference on Gulf maritime security and for its "anti-Iran" rhetoric accusing Tehran of attacking tankers in sensitive waters.

Bahrain said the July 31 meeting was to discuss the "current regional situation" and blasted "the repeated attacks and unacceptable practices of Iran and the terrorist groups linked to it".

The tiny Gulf monarchy, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, did not specify who attended but Britain's Guardian newspaper reported the UK had called for the meeting with other European countries and the United States.

"Bahrain's government should not become the facilitator of common enemies' wishes and schemes in the region," said foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi in a statement published on his Telegram channel.

"The security of regional countries is inseparable and it is not possible for some to be secure at the cost of others' insecurity. It is expected that regional countries prevent foreigners' escalatory interventions by exercising prudence and foresight," he added.

Mousavi "condemned the anti-Iran measures taken by Bahrain's government including hosting suspicious and provocative conferences," the statement said.

Manama said last month that it and the US would co-host a conference on "maritime and air navigation security", set for October.

Britain said on Monday it will form a joint maritime taskforce with the US to protect merchant vessels in the Gulf.

Iran has seized three tankers in strategic Gulf waters since last month, including a British-flagged vessel.

The United States and its Gulf allies have also accused the Islamic republic of carrying out several mysterious attacks on ships in the region, which Tehran denies.

The ship seizures came after British Royal Marines helped to impound a tanker carrying Iranian oil off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar on July 4, alleging it was destined for the EU-sanctioned Syria, an accusation Iran denies.

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