GCC raps Iran call to include Bahrain in N-talks
Al Zayani accuses Tehran of constantly trying to destabilise some Arab states
February 14, 2013
Abu Dhabi: Gulf Arab government dismissed as “interference” an Iranian suggestion that unrest in Syria and Bahrain be discussed at nuclear talks between world powers and Iran, accusing Tehran of constantly trying to destabilise some Arab states.
The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said the bloc “categorically rejected” Iran’s proposal, saying it was further evidence of Iranian meddling in the region, the Bahraini news agency BNA reported on Thursday.
“This confirms Iran’s clear interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries, and its continuous efforts to destabilise the security of some of these Arab countries,” Abdul Latif Al Zayani was quoted as saying.
Bahrain summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires over the statement, BNA said.
Western diplomats have accused Iran in the past of trying to avoid the main point of the negotiations by widening the agenda to cover security and economic issues.
The next session is due to take place in Kazakhstan on February 26. The West fears Iran is pursuing the means to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it seeks only civilian atomic energy.
The semi-official Iranian news agency Mehr said on Tuesday Tehran had proposed including Bahrain - which is grappling with protests by majority Shiites - and Syria - where civil war is raging - in the talks with world powers.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has proposed as a suggestion to Western countries that the crisis in Syria and Bahrain be among the issues discussed in negotiations in Kazakhstan,” Mehr quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying.