Bahrain Plays the Azerbaijan Game with Iran, What are the Outcomes?

2021-10-20 - 12:27 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): About 10 years ago, there was much talk of a Gulf trend of normalization with Israel, and Bahrain's name has always been present in this news.

The authorities in Bahrain have paved the way for taking the step towards normalization on more than one occasion, starting with the successive statements of former Foreign Minister Khaled Al Khalifa that support Israel one time, and oppose the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance at other times, and reaching the reception of American/Israeli Jewish delegations in Bahrain and their dance at Bab Al-Manama, chanting racist songs about the construction of the temple and the demolition of Bayt al-Maqdis. 

Each country that walked in the path of normalization had different reasons; however, Bahrain's purpose was clear. The United States' withdrawal from the region has been under way for some time, and Bahrain saw that they shouldn't remain like this in the face of Iran, which has not been weakened by the embargo. Quite the contrary, it has turned into a regional state with sufficient influence and military-trained groups to wage wars on more than one front at the same time, if it wishes.

Everyone understood the lesson when they saw the Iranians moving toward Syria and moving their fighters to support the Syrian army against the militants. No one miscalculated when they saw Iran supporting Iraq's popular mobilization to confront ISIS, and Yemen's Ansar Allah against a broad Saudi-led coalition.

For these reasons, the Al Khalifa family decided to proceed with normalization, or at least that could be analyzed from the move announced about a year ago. It wasn't a response to the urgency of a crisis as the US administration was on the verge of an election it might lose, but was a strategy on which the ruling family built its plans for the future.

On the other hand, Israel has also been actively seeking a foothold in the Gulf, and has decided since losing control of Iran's nuclear program and failing to rein in Iran to act as strongly as it can.

Israel assassinated nuclear scientists, most recently martyr Fakhrizadeh, and also managed to cause a (limited) detonation in the Natanz nuclear reactor, and has always been creating chaos in Iran. It has never hidden this.

Nonetheless, Iran has not stood idly by about what happened. Unofficial Mossad headquarters in northern Iraq (Erbil) have been targeted more than once by Iraqi factions close to Iran. Meanwhile, Iran directly targeted sites in the Kurdistan region used by Iran's armed opposition and Mossad to carry out hostilities against Iran.

Azerbaijan and Iranian Maneuvers:

Iran has always slept with an open eye on its border with Azerbaijan, which it says is now being used as an Israeli base to carry out hostilities against it, and despite many Iranian warnings, Azerbaijan has decided to proceed in strengthening its relations with Israel (Israel has also begun to establish a new network of relations with Georgia).

After the recent war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh province, which ended with Azerbaijan's victory over Armenia (Iran's ally) and the extraction of areas from it, Tehran looked at the significant change in the balance of power that had occurred, which of course was not in its favor, but tried to proceed reluctantly for many reasons in the agreement sponsored by Russia in cooperation with Turkey (Azerbaijan's main ally). 

Iran missed the opportunity with its neighbor Azerbaijan, until the crisis of crossings, over which Azerbaijan decided (due to its victory last year over Armenia and its sense of power) to impose taxes on Iranian trucks passing into Armenia. This ended with a massive military exercise on the border with Azerbaijan, the first of its kind in 30 years.

As the maneuvers began, Azerbaijani President Aliyev accused Iranian forces of entering Azerbaijani areas and violating his country's sovereignty. But the response was swift by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who said upon receiving the credentials of the new Azerbaijani ambassador that Iran will not tolerate Israel's presence and activities against Iran's national security and will take any necessary action in this regard. This is a clear message that Iran will not care about borders and treaties if it feels threatened by Israel.

Bahrain's Normalization in Iran's eyes:

In the same context, Iran believes that Israel's efforts to find a foothold in Bahrain are part of a plan to surround Iran by intensifying Israel's presence in surrounding areas and states, in preparation for any hostile action against it.

There is no doubt that Iran has closely monitored the Gulf normalization file, and it is looking at what is happening as a clear attempt to undermine and threaten, harm and possibly eliminate it. Experiences have shown that in such cases Iran does not stand idly by until the fire reaches it, but will protect its country and national security in the way it deems appropriate.

Based on the above, one has the right to ask whether the ruling family in Bahrain is aware that the subject of normalization, not like other controversial topics with Iran, begins in the media and ends in the media.

Is the ruling regime in Bahrain aware that Iran views the Israeli presence in Bahrain as having a security/military extension with all the public and non-public actions that this may entail? 

What dangerous game is the government in Bahrain playing with a regional country with huge military potential like Iran? Are the decision makers aware of the repercussions of the decision to normalize ties with Israel?

Arabic Version

المصدر: Bahrain Mirror
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