MANAMA, Bahrain -- The crown prince of Bahrain accused Iran of steering its nuclear program to weaponization amid internal sectarian divides.
King Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said of Iran’s nuclear program in an interview with the Times of London Friday, “While they don’t have the bomb yet, they are developing it, or the capability for it.”
Bahrain, a Western ally hosting the U.S. fleet monitoring the Strait of Hormuz, warned that “the whole region” could be drawn into military conflict involving Iran and asked India and Russia to help on the diplomatic front, the Times said Friday.
The statements by the crown prince are part of a broader regional issue with Iran. An Iranian general said Iran was ready to strike various targets in the Persian Gulf “if necessary.”
Bahrian, a Sunni-led country, is experiencing its own issues along sectarian lines, calling into questions matters of regional allegiance.
“Bahrian turned yellow with Hezbollah flags” during the 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanon, a Western diplomat is quoted in the Times.
Reform processes regarding the release of political prisoners and immigration have stalled, causing some to complain about the “systematic discrimination” by the Sunni majority.
The crown prince acknowledged the divides, but told The Times the issue was “so politically charged that nobody is really willing to have a rational discussion about it.”
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