Gulf Maritime Security Council amid Iran-US Tensions
image via flickr

Amid Iran-US tensions, the Kingdom of Bahrain held a conference a few weeks ago on Gulf maritime security, with prospective Iranian threat as the sole agenda. The Iran-US tensions have increased since May this year following a tumult in the Strait of Hormuz, where several ship attacks on two different occasions were ascribed to Iranian mischief.

Bahrain hosted a conference, which was held “to discuss the current regional situation and to strengthen cooperation.” The tiny Gulf monarchy, which hosts US Fifth Fleet, slammed the repeated Iranian attacks and unacceptable practices of the terrorists, which is linked to the Islamic Republic.

Iran-US tensions in the region have escalated, following mysterious ships attacks which the US and its regional allies have blamed on Iran. While Iran has repeatedly denied these claims. The Iran-US tensions further deteriorated on July 19 when Tehran seized a British-flagged tanker as it passed through the Strait. Britain, the closest US ally, had earlier captured an Iranian fleet passing through Gibraltar, which was supposedly destined for Syria.

Bahrain Security Council comes amid the times most unfavorable for peace, or most conducive to war hostilities. Although Manama did not specify the details regarding the high-profile meeting attended by the multi-state representatives, the Guardian’s peek revealed it had been initiated by Britain. The British initiative was seconded by its regional European allies, along with the US. Interestingly, Germany has shown no particular interest in this.

Amid all these developments, it is interesting and even worth-knowing to find out why Bahrain, a tiny state, is keen to engage itself in a tension of so global nature. Isn’t it like a mouse coming between the fights of elephants?

Some History Behind Bahrain’s Keenness to Host A Warmongering Conference!

“Amid all these developments, it is interesting and even worth-knowing to find out why Bahrain, a tiny state, is keen to engage itself in a tension of so global nature. Isn’t it like a mouse coming between the fights of elephants?”

Bahrain is a monarchy ruled by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, a Sunni minority ruler. His administration, mostly comprised of his family members, holds most of the political as well as military positions in a country whose predominant population is Shia sect. Unfortunately, this sectarian divide between two hostile groups of Islam has led to long-running tension in Bahrain, which occasionally descended into civil disobedience.

While dictatorships of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen were drowning under the pro-democracy floods, this tiny monarchy of Bahrain managed to keep itself afloat in 2011. Although the Arab Spring continued sending its shocking waves to the Arab kingdoms, including Saudi Arabia, it was Bahrain that was most affected by it. 35 people lost their lives in the wake of Arab Spring-led Pearl Revolution. King Hammad’s best solution to end the crisis was to seek the Saudi military’s assistance.

However, the most recent Bahrain Conference needs to be seen in the light of that sectarian hostility that has hijacked the peace prospects in the Gulf region for decades. More worryingly, this sectarian hostility has been exploited time and again by the international actors for their respective gains.

In addition to Bahrain’s motives, the US collusion in deepening the sectarian divide renders a bleaker picture of how international relations are based on self-interested motives more than any other reasons. Moreover, the US-Bahrain relation also serves to throw light on how the American love for democracy in Libya and Syria, is conspicuous by its absence in Bahrain, the US strong regional ally. Where it callously turned a blind eye in the King Hamad-led persecution of the Shia majority in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Related: US-IRAN TENSIONS: WHY THE US WILL NOT WAGE WAR ON IRAN!