Iranian “solidarity convoy” bound for Bahrain to deliver aid and moral support for government protesters was ordered back to Iran, according to Iran’s English news network, Press TV.
A Press TV reporter travelling with the convoy said its two boats had been ordered back home, prompting participants to throw their letters of “moral support” into the water. They were meant for Bahraini Shiites, who have led the uprisings and been targeted by a severe government crackdown that has left scores of people dead and many others missing.
According to Press TV the 120 members of the “solidarity convoy” consisted of students, scholars and physicians as well as women and children and they had set sail for Bahrain on Monday morning. Press TV had announced earlier that they would return should Bahrain refuse to grant them entry.
A group representative had said earlier that there were no “armed personnel” aboard the two boats and their only objective was to deliver medical aide and 5000 letters of support for their Shiite brothers and sisters who have become the target of an oppressive clamp down after widespread protests broke out in Manama in February calling for reforms.
Iran has strongly criticized the oppression of pro-democracy protests in Bahrain as well as the presence of Saudi and UAE troops in Manama to silence the uprising.
Iranian condemnation of Bahrain government policies has strained Iran’s relations with its Gulf neighbours.