Tuesday, February 22, 2011

US backs crackdown in Bahrain

The Bahraini regime cannot violently suppress its own people without the US support, a political expert says amid the escalation of pro-democracy protests in the Persian Gulf Arab state.

“Bahrain is a country where the United States has an enormous military presence, so without a doubt the Bahraini regime cannot kill and slaughter its own people without knowing that they'll be supported and backed by Americans,” said Dr. Mohammad Marandi, a professor at Tehran University, in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.

“The United States does not want change in any part of the Middle East; they've basically tied their foreign policy to Israel and all of these corrupt and despotic regimes…they've remained in power for decades due to the support of the United States,” he added.

The Iranian scholar made the remarks in the wake of the violent crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain early on Thursday when security forces raided the protesters in Pearl Square in central Manama and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the people to disperse them.

Four people were killed in the incident, raising the number of the deaths to seven since Monday.

The US Department of Defense says Washington is closely monitoring the developments in Bahrain, which is the headquarters of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and holds some 4,200 US service members.

Inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Bahraini protesters have staged anti-government protests in the Persian Gulf kingdom, demanding a new constitution that would move the country toward democracy as well as limited state control for the monarchy over top government posts and all critical decisions.

Meanwhile, Marandi made an analogy between the uprising in Bahrain and that of Egypt and Tunisia in terms of the number of people who have been killed.

"What is very interesting to me at least is that Bahrain is a country of 700,000, and the number of people killed [about 10 people] if you compare it to the population is really enormous," said Marandi, adding that it means "many of the people in that country are directly affected by the murders carried out by the regime."

He further turned the spotlight on the problems that United States is encountering in the region as it scrambles to save those regimes backed by Washington.

"This is the whole problem that the United States face; the dilemma is that they want to save each and every one of these regimes, including the Egyptian regime…Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, but all of these regimes are becoming more and more unstable , and the United States is becoming weaker, because of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economic crisis that it faces at home …so I think the time is not on the side of Americans …and I think in the coming months we would see a very different Middle East," he concluded.


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