Flights between Bahrain and Iran to resume ‘soon’: MP

21 Mar 2023

Flights between Bahrain and Iran to resume ‘soon’: MP

Iranian officials announced that the Iranian and Bahraini embassies will soon be reopened on the heels of a Chinese-brokered rapprochement deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia

By News Desk; The Cradle

March 21, 2023


The First Deputy Speaker of the Bahraini Parliament, Abdulnabi Salman, revealed on 21 March that flights between his country and Iran will resume “soon.”

“This thinking is serious, and the flights between the two countries will be restored soon,” Salman told Erm News on Tuesday, adding that the decision was approved by an Iranian parliamentary delegation that visited Manama last week for the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Council Assembly.

He also stressed that Bahrain has “no reservations” about restoring ties with the Islamic Republic but insisted that “if Iran is serious about adopting a positive attitude towards GCC countries, it must prove its good intentions in the coming days so that Bahrain and the Gulf states can enhance the state of official and popular acceptance, which is an effort that both parties must make.”

Earlier this month, Iran reached a historic agreement to restore diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia within the next two months.

“During these two months, Iran’s intentions towards the region and its seriousness will become clear … If they become serious, the matter will be reflected [with acceptance from] Bahrain and the Gulf states,” the Bahraini official stressed.

He later said that Bahraini officials explained to their Iranian counterparts “the importance of the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the well-known red lines related to the political leadership and the interests of the Bahraini people, which are a priority that does not accept any compromise, whatever the circumstances.”

On Sunday, Ilham Azad, a member of the Iranian parliamentary delegation that visited Manama, told Tasnim News Agency that “the Iranian embassy in Manama and the Bahraini embassy in Tehran will resume their activities soon.”

According to Arabic media reports, Tehran and Manama have held several “low-profile exchanges” in recent months aimed at eventually restoring ties.

In 2011, Iran strongly condemned Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Bahrain, which aided the Al-Khalifa monarchy’s crackdown on anti-government protests. As a result, the two countries expelled each other’s ambassadors.

The following year, the Bahraini foreign ministry announced the reinstatement of an Iranian envoy to the Gulf country.

In 2015, Tehran’s condemnation and expression of political support for Bahrain’s persecuted Shia majority prompted the Gulf state to accuse Tehran of intervening in the country’s internal affairs, resulting in both sides cutting ties once again.

A year later, following Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, Manama cut ties with the Islamic Republic.

Despite widespread disapproval from citizens, Bahrain is also one of the signatories of the US-sponsored normalization deal with Israel, despite widespread disapproval from citizens.