The Teheran regime has not formally disavowed Shariatmadari's remarks.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was scheduled to have arrived in
Manama on Friday, Middle East Newsline reported.
"It goes without saying that such an indisputable right for Iran and the
people of this province should not and cannot be overlooked," Shariatmadari
Shariatmadari said Bahrain, which contains a Shi'ite majority, was
separated from Iran "through an illicit conformity between the former Shah
and the governments of Britain and United States." Shariatmadari is also
managing editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan, aligned with Khamenei and which
published the claim on Bahrain.
On Friday, Shariatmadari told the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily
that he did not obtain approval from Khamenei for the remarks on Bahrain.
Shariatmadari said the remarks reflected his personal opinion.
The Iranian claim has alarmed the GCC. On July 11, GCC secretary-general
Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah accused Teheran of seeking to
undermine the sovereignty Gulf Arab states.
"These hostile claims were false and were aimed at fuelling
sectarianism," Al Attiyah said. "They do not have any credibility, but are
intended to create chaos."
Iran has been in territorial disputes with Kuwait and the United Arab
Emirates. The UAE, supported by the GCC, has demanded that Iran return three
islands it occupies in the Gulf.
Bahrain has complained of Iranian interference as well as financing
Shi'ite agitators, who have organized riots in the Manama area nearly every
night. Bahrain's Shura Council has urged Iran to respect international law.
"The independence of Bahrain, as well as its sovereignty and Arab
[identity] are indisputable established facts," the Bahraini daily Akhbar Al