Rejected by the League of Nations and the right to self-determination
Persian policy traying to obliterate the Bahrain Arabism
Iran has always been keen to extend its influence in the Arabian Gulf region by any way, and it is obvious in its refusal to call the Gulf with the Arabian Gulf, and its insistence on the unrealistic name “Persian Gulf”; Seeking to play a greater role in the region, by presenting itself as a dominant regional power, and obtaining international recognition of that situation.
Throughout history and its stages, Bahrain was present in the Iranian ambitions towards the Arabian Gulf, since the beginning of the sixteenth century AD, the emergence of the Persian expansionist tendencies of the Safavid state, and the Safavid Shah Ismail’s desire to revive the Persian Empire again; The Persians did not find anything wrong through allying with Portuguese colonialism in order to control the Arabian Gulf, this is evident from the Prince of Hormuz’s cooperation with the Portuguese fleet in occupying Awal Island a year (1521), which known currently as Bahrain Kingdom, and a Hormuzian military garrison was placed in Qal’at al-Bahrain, most of whom were Persians.
The greatest manifestation of the Persian colonial policy towards Bahrain appeared, and it seemed clear in the era of Shah Abbas Alkabir when Abbas entered into a struggle with the Portuguese in order to replace them in controlling the capabilities of the Arabian Gulf, and he succeeded a year (1602) in ” Persian rule consolidation under the leadership of Moin al-Din Vali, who declared Bahrain’s submission to Persian rule.”
Persian colonialism did not last long in Bahrain. As the Persians entered into long and continuous struggles with the Ya’rubi state over control of Bahrain, till the disputes over leadership began between Ottomans and Al-Ahwaz Arabs, until Sheikh Bushehr Nasr Al-Madhkur took control of Bahrain in the year (1750), at that time the Al Khalifa reached Al Zubarah on the Qatari mainland, and they were able, during the reign of Sheikh Ahmed bin Muhammad Al Khalifa, nicknamed (the Conqueror), to annex the island of Bahrain (early) in the year (1782), from that time it returned to the Arabs, and it was only colonized by the Persians For a short period of time, also, they did not settle there, despite that, Bahrain remained one of the areas that most present in the expansionist Persian mentality and the areas in which they hoped to extend their influence.
By occupying them for a short period, the Persians want to impose their expansion in Bahrain after the Al Khalifa expelled them from it.
With the entry of English influence into the Arab Gulf region, a new competitor appeared to the Persian colonial ambitions in the Arab Gulf. Also, Britain stood in the face of Persia (1820) when Persia prepared a military campaign to occupy Bahrain, certainly Britain’s goal behind that was to maintain the balance of power in the region, and limit Persian ambitions in Bahrain, to serve its own interests in the Arabian Gulf.
Al Khalifa’s rule in Bahrain was a stumbling block to Persian ambitions, also among Iran’s threats was what happened in (1836) When the Persian ruler of Shiraz sent a threatening and intimidating message to Sheikh Khalifa, inviting him to declare submission to Persian rule, but Sheikh Khalifa, emphasizing Bahrain’s Arab identity, rejected the threat, while emphasizing the independence of his country.
The Persian claims of Bahrain’s subordination intensified, and developed after World War I, to the point that the matter was presented to the League of Nations in the year (1928), after back and forth, exchanging notes and speeches, the League of Nations rejected any authority of Iran over Bahrain. Despite this, Iran continued to repeat its false allegations of Bahrain’s subordination to it, in (1951) the Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mosaddegh nationalized the oil companies in Iran; Iran considered that nationalization includes Bahrain’s oil, under the claim of Bahrain’s subordination to it. Iran also objected to the conclusion of an agreement defining regional waters between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and Iranian allegations returned to the point that led to present the right of self-determination in Bahrain to the United Nations in ( 1970), indeed the people of Bahrain unanimously agreed in the referendum on Bahrain’s independence and Arabism, as Khairallah Khairallah says: “The people of Bahrain chose to be an independent state, and their independence meant their rejection of Iran, which was demanding that Bahrain be an Iranian governorate.”
The expansionist view towards Bahrain did not disappear with the demise of the Pahlavi state regime, and Khomeinist’s reach to power in Tehran, where it sharply increased with the theory of “Wilayat al-Faqih” Rule by the Islamic Jurist and revolution export. Also, he declared in (1980) his famous statements at the time about Bahrain, calling for its annexation, considering it an integral part of Iran.
With the third millennium, and the escalation of the Iranian regime’s internal and external crises, hostile statements escalated towards Bahrain, trying to distract internal attention and terrorize the external ones. The director of the semi-official Kayhan newspaper, Hossein Shariat Madari, wrote: “Bahrain is part of Iranian territory, and it separated from Iran after an illegal settlement between the Shah, Britain and America.” In (2009) The head of the General Inspection in the Office of Revolution Leader, Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, claimed Bahrain’s dependence on Iran, describing that it was basically the fourteenth Iranian governorate, in (2011) Ahmed Jannati explicitly and publicly called for the occupation of Bahrain, in June (2012) Former Iranian ambassador to Paris, Sadiq Kharazi, stated that if Iran wanted to occupy Bahrain, it would take only a few hours to control it using Iranian Rapid Reaction Forces.
Through what has passed, it is clear to us the insistence of the Persian expansionist view towards Bahrain since the Safavid rule, and it was confirmed once again by the Pahlavi rule, also the important and dangerous developments in this policy under the rule of “Wilayat al-Faqih” Rule by the Islamic Jurist in Iran now, while the whole world affirms the Arabism of Bahrain and its connection with its Arab surroundings, this was obvious in restore the citizenship spirit in the referendum of self-determination and independence of Bahrain in the early seventies.
- Khairallah Khairallah, Bahrain and Iran, Tafah AlKayl – That’s enough, Al Arabiya website,October 9 (2015).
- Rashed Ahmed Al-Hunaiti, The Principle of Exporting the Iranian Revolution and its Impact on the Stability of the Arab Gulf Countries, Master Thesis, College of Arts and Sciences, Middle East University in Jordan (2013).
- Radwan al-Sayyid, Arabs and Iranians: Arab-Iranian Relations in the Present Time (Beirut: Arab House,2014).
- Muhammad Abdullah and Bashir Zain al-Abidin, Modern History of Bahrain (1500- 2002) (Manama: University of Bahrain,2009).