Bahrainis have dismissed a warning by Qasem Sulaimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, saying that it was merely more evidence of his country’s blatant interference in the domestic affairs of the kingdom.
Reacting to news that the Bahraini government on Monday revoked the citizenship of Eisa Qasem, the leading Shiite scholar, Sulaimani said that Bahrain and the whole region would be set on fire and that the people would resort to armed resistance.
In his remarks published by Fars new agency, he said the regime in Bahrain would be toppled as a result of the decision.
However, Bahrainis said that Sulaimani’s attitude was arrogant and reflected a disturbed craving for blood.
“He should be reported to the United Nations and its legal offices for threatening to set Bahrain and the region on fire,” Hassan Mohammad, an analyst, said. “He is publicly and openly making terrorist threats and as such he should be held legally accountable. People cannot just walk down the streets and make threats to set a country or a region ablaze. There needs to be a strong reaction from the international community.”
An official said that there would be no response to Sulaimani’s threats.
“He is a terrorist and Bahrain does not deal with terrorists,” the official said. “Bahrain had been diligently fighting terrorism wherever it could, and it does not deal with them in any way.”
Jaber Mohammad, another Bahraini analyst, said that Sulaimani’s statement reflected the frustration that his plans were not working out.
“There is a deep hatred for the region, and threatening to burn it down is only a reflection of the intense hatred that Sulaimani has for its people,” Mohammad said. “Even if when someone is not happy with a situation, he does not use threats of death and destruction.”
Duaij Mohammad said that he was not at all impressed with the statement.
“Experience has taught me to heed only those who act without resorting to pompous words or empty threats,” the media officer said. “I can recognise a hypocrite and I can read out those who live on using the media in a self-aggrandising way. This statement simply puts Sulaimani in the category of the infamous Emperor Nero who reportedly left Rome burning. Through this statement, history will always recall him as a bloodthirsty who wanted to destroy the region,” he said.
Noora, a teacher in a private school, said that Sulaimani represented the ugly side of Iranian officials who use only the language of force and threats when talking about the region.
“We are aware that official Iran has two sides, a smiling side that is shown to the Europeans and the Americans who are often enchanted by it and fall for its beauty,” she said. “However, the dark side is reserved for the Arabs and the people in the region even though they are the close neighbours bound to coexist together. Under this dark side, which is more true to the genuine feelings, the discourse is always threats and menaces, force and power, coercion and pressure. Radical Iranian officials think that they can achieve what they want with their sweet words with the West and their bullying tactics with the region. The bright side may have worked for them regarding the nuclear deal, but we are well aware that the dark side is always there and that the threats and bullying will continue.”
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