Al Khalifa’s political exploitation of coronavirus, ignoring its obligations

TEHRAN, Mar. 12 (MNA) – Al Khalifa finds the outbreak of the coronavirus in the region as the best opportunity to achieve political goals and recently prevented the return of Bahraini nationals from Iran.

Since the spread of coronavirus in many regional countries and the world in the past weeks, the authorities of the Al Khalifa regime have adopted a strange policy towards their nationals in the Islamic Republic who had traveled to Iran for pilgrimage and vacation. This move has drawn a lot of criticism.

Bahraini authorities have banned the entry of their citizens from Iran to Bahrain. In fact, they are evading responsibilities towards their nationals by pursuing this strange and unprecedented policy. However, many countries around the world have returned their nationals from other regions.

A Bahraini activist Ibrahim AL Madhoun pointed to this issue and said, “We notice that the Bahraini government has caused distress for its citizens by not allowing them to return to their country. These people have been in the Islamic Republic for a long time and the Bahraini regime does not fulfill its duties towards its nationals.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Human Rights Association of Bahrain Bagher Darvish maintained, “After the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran, the reaction of Bahraini officials towards their nationals was blatantly negligent. This behavior caused suffering and financial problems for a large number of these people.”

Indeed, this move by the Al Khalifa reflects its tribalism approach and discriminatory policies towards Bahrainis. The truth is that the regime is using the spread of coronavirus as an excuse to implement its sectarian policies against the citizens of Bahrain and ultimately repress them further.

Referring to the tribalism policy of the Al Khalifa regime, political activist Abdul-Ghani al-Khanjar said, “The Al Khalifa’s action to prevent the return of Bahrainis from Iran with the excuse of spreading the coronavirus is a grave crime against the people of Bahrain. It proves that Al Khalifa extremely favors tribalism and does not deserve to rule a country like Bahrain.”

Al Khalifa violated human rights after adopting such measures. Various countries around the world provided essentials means of returning their nationals and by law, put them in quarantine for two weeks to ensure their health and well-being. Al Khalifa refused to follow such an approach.

The widespread criticism and pressure from Bahraini political activists eventually prompted the Al Khalifa regime to reduce its hostile policies towards its nationals in Iran and paved the way for their return. In this regard, the first group of Bahraini citizens in Iran recently went back to Bahrain after the mediation of some regional countries such as Kuwait and Oman.

Clearly, Al Khalifa is using coronavirus outbreak to pursue its political goals in Bahrain in an effort to make some changes in the population of the country.   

In the process of altering the structure of the population, Al Khalifa focuses on revoking the citizenship of Bahraini nationals. It seeks to strengthen its social base in Bahrain by granting Bahraini citizenship to foreigners. In line with this policy, Al-Khalifa's courts have renounced the citizenship of hundreds of Bahrainis since 2012 and conferred citizenship to many foreigners.

The fact is that the Al Khalifa has come to the conclusion that it can take advantage of the current opportunity to intensify the process of revoking citizenship in Bahrain, thereby almost 1500 Bahraini nationals in Iran would lose their citizenship. It goes without saying that the coronavirus has become a tool for Al Khalifa to exert pressure on Bahraini citizens and consequently repress them, which means that the tribalism virus has reached its peak in Bahrain.

Moreover, the hostile policies of the Al Khalifa regime after the outbreak of coronavirus are not merely limited to domestic factors. The truth is that Bahraini authorities follow Saudi Arabia in this regard and strive to promote Iranophobia.

MNA/ 4875494

News Code 156636

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