Two Iranian nationals and a Bahraini will soon stand trial in Manama charged with spying for the Islamic Republic.
According to Bahrain News, “collecting economic and military information and relaying it to senior Revolutionary Guards officials with an intention to harm Bahrain interests from 2002 to 2010” is the charge brought against these individuals. The trial will reportedly take place on April 20, 2011.
This trial follows Iranian criticism of Bahrain’s violent treatment of popular uprisings. Two weeks ago, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke out against the “clamp down and massacre” of the opposition in Bahrain and urged the government to pay attention to and respect people’s demands.
Ahmadinejad referred to the announcement issued by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) accusing Iran of “interference in the affairs of the countries of the region” and said: “This bill was approved under pressure from the United States.”
Iranian parliament has consistently condemned the presence of Saudi troops in Bahrain which have entered Manama following Bahraini Monarchy’s call for aid from its partners in the GCC.
Bahrain has accused Iran of meddling in its internal affairs and announced that it will file an official complaint against Iran at the United Nations.
Bahrain has been facing a popular uprising since February 14. Protesters demand resignation of the prime minister, Bahraini monarch’s cousin who has been the head of the country’s government since 1971. Release of all political prisoners and constitutional reform is also amongst the demands of the protesters.
Since the start of the protests, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have disappeared and thousand have been wounded.
In recent weeks Kuwait also announced that two Iranian nationals and a Kuwaiti have been given the death penalty for passing on sensitive military information to Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. These individuals were serving in Kuwaiti army at the time of their arrest.
Ahmadinejad has flippantly dismissed the charges of espionage saying: “What does Kuwait have that Iran may want to spy on?”