THE main Shia opposition group in Bahrain has warned that the ruling Al Khalifah regime there is ‘contributing to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause’ with its plan to ‘host’ a conference supporting US President Trump’s ‘alleged proposal for peace’ between the Israeli regime and Palestine.
In its statement condemning Trump’s so-called ‘deal of the century’ the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society insisted: ‘The Manama regime, through hosting a US-Zionist conference next month, is helping the obliteration of the Palestinian cause in favour of the Zionist regime (of Israel), and according to Israeli conditions,’ – in the words of deputy secretary general of al-Wefaq, Sheikh Hussein al-Daihi just last Thursday.
He added: ‘It’s not the first time that the Bahraini regime stabs Muslims and reneges on their major issue of concern, which is Palestine. The regime has rushed to normalise ties with the Zionist entity.’
And this occurs ‘just as Hamas insists that it will not allow anyone to relinquish or trade their cause during a US-led conference in Bahrain next month, ’ he emphasised.
The opposition figure further noted that the Manama conference scheduled for June 25-26 is a ‘failed step to establish a new Middle East’ according to US standards.
‘The hypocrisy of those fooling with the Palestinian cause and Palestinians’ sufferings has been unmasked,’ he continued. ‘Their intentions and schemes aimed at liquidation of the Palestinian cause have now been exposed,’ Daihi pointed out.
At the same time, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Hamas resistance movement have called for an Arab boycott of the Bahrain confab. And a Jordanian political party has called on the government not to participate in that ‘upcoming American-led conference on Palestinians in Bahrain’.
Hamas, in a statement issued on Monday, also called on Arab countries to provide the Palestinian people with every support to confront and frustrate the US so-called ‘deal of the century’.
‘We are following with great concern the American announcement about holding an economic workshop next June in the Bahraini capital of Manama,’ Hamas said, describing it as the first American confab in support of the so-called deal.
The movement also denounced any Arab participation in adopting and executing the deal, saying any attendance in the American-led Bahrain conference would be considered a deviation from Arab and Islamic values.
- A Palestinian minister has said at the same time that Palestinians ‘will not attend a US-led economic conference’ in Bahrain next month. Trump’s ‘peace plan’ has already been dismissed by Palestinian authorities ahead of its unveiling at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the formation of the new Israeli cabinet, most likely in June.
Speaking in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on April 16, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at the initiative, asserting it had effectively been ‘born dead’.
- At the same time, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi spoke up for Iran as ‘an independent and mighty country’, saying that it is not facing the dilemma of war or talks now.
‘The Islamic Republic of Iran is an independent and mighty country with reliance on its people and has decided about its clear way based on its national interests and security and is not at all faced with a crossroad of war or negotiations or any other crossroad,’ Mousavi said on Thursday.
He added that there is no deadlock ahead of the Iranian nation, saying that enemies’ psychological warfare and economic terrorism against the Iranian nation will fail.
In further relevant remarks last Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also announced that Tehran would not come to the negotiating table under the current situation, adding that his country, however, has always championed dialogue and engagement.
‘I, myself, am in favour of negotiation and diplomacy, but do not approve of it under the current circumstances at all,’ president Rouhani said in a meeting with a number of religious scholars and personalities in the capital city of Tehran.
Rouhani recalled how the country had rejected a proposal for talks made by five world leaders during his visit to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York last year. Also last year, Tehran likewise ignored eight separate offers for negotiation with Washington, which had been forwarded by the US State Department, he added.
‘The circumstances of the day are not (such that would be appropriate) for negotiation at all. Today, our situation is (one characterised by) resistance and steadfastness,’ the chief executive stated.
The Iranian people and authorities see perfectly eye to eye on the premise of resistance against the United States and its sanctions, Rouhani said.
He asserted however: ‘I do not perceive the road ahead to be a dead-end one at all,’ adding that in order for the country to surmount the obstacles in its way ‘all have to realise that we are in conditions of economic war, and should help one another out.’
The president then hailed the fact that ‘Iran was never the one to start matters in its standing conflict with the US.’
- Meanwhile, a senior member of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defence committee has revealed the US plan to turn Ain al-Assad airbase in al-Anbar province into a key centre for its air force in Iraq.
Karim al-Mohammadawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website that the US wants to turn Ain al-Assad airbase – which is a regional base for operations and command – into a central airbase for its fighter jets.
He added that a large number of forces and military equipment have been sent to Ain al-Assad without any permission from the Iraqi government, noting that the number of American forces in Iraq has surpassed 50,000.
Al-Mohammadawi said that Washington does not care about Iraq’s opposition to using the country’s soil to target the neighbouring states.
Then in a relevant development on Saturday, media reports said that Washington has plans to set up military bases and increasing its troops in Iraq, adding the US is currently engaged in expanding its Ain al-Assad military base in al-Anbar province.
The US troops stationed in US’ Ain al-Assad air base in Heet city west of al-Anbar province have already started operations to expand the air base, the Arabic-language al-Malou’ma news website quoted a battlefield source of Hashd al-Sha’abi (Iraqi popular forces) as saying.
It noted that the operations to expand Ain al-Assad air base have taken place concurrent with the arrival of US military vehicles and equipment to the base, and said that the expansion of Ain al-Assad will include some major sectors of airport to the south of the base.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Okaz newspaper quoted some Iraqi parliamentary sources as saying that Washington intends to increase the number of its troops in Iraq.
It said Washington has informed Baghdad that it is going to set a new military base for its new troops, and added that the Iraqi government has not responded to the US request yet.
A senior commander of Hashd al-Shaabi had also in January warned of the US moves to set up military bases in Saladin province.
‘Some reports have been released about establishment of new US bases in al-Anbar and Saladin provinces which is a violation of Iraq’s national sovereignty,’ Qassim Muslih, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in al-Anbar province was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channels as saying.
He underscored the necessity for the US forces to leave Iraq, and said, ‘We are capable of supporting and protecting our land and borders and there is no need for the deployment of foreign forces.’