Peaceful protest now impossible for Bahrainis: Zarif

HAGUE, Jun. 24 (MNA) – Iran’s FM Zarif expressed deep regrets over the situation in Bahrain, saying due to external pressures exerted on Bahrain since Saudi aggression, ways to peaceful protest have been cut off for the Bahraini people.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remark in a press conference with his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders in the city of Hague on Thursday, adding “Tehran believes that the situation in Bahrain is highly critical and requires immediate attention from the international community.”

Zarif’s remarks are in reference to a recent move by the Bahraini government in stripping a leading Shia spiritual leader Isa Qassim of his Bahraini nationality.

When asked about the referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union, better known as Brexit, the Iranian top diplomat maintained that the decision to remain or leave depends completely on the British people and no other country should decide about it.

The UK has voted to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum, with the Leave campaign securing 52 per cent of the vote. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in reaction to the news, said he "deeply regretted" the decision but "European cooperation will have to continue". 

The Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, for his part, highlighted the significance of Iran’s nuclear deal, adding “I do believe that this agreement is an important measure for international diplomacy, and as we have mentioned before, its implementation should be followed by both sides.”

He went on to add, “in various fields of cooperation such as economy, we have had good progress with Iran and I also discussed with Mr. Zarif more sensitive issues, such as the human rights.”

“What we want is the continuation of serious talks and are fully appreciative of the effort on the Iranian side for making this happen,” he said.

MS/3694023

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