Bahrain's King Hamad says there is 'no reason' to delay restoration of ties with Iran

Ties were cut in 2016 after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad

King Hamad says Bahrain is seeking 'normal diplomatic, commercial and cultural relations' with Iran. EPA
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Bahrain's King Hamad said there was no reason to delay the resumption of diplomatic relations between the kingdom and Iran.

Bahrain cut ties with Iran in 2016 after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad, following the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr Al Nimr by Riyadh.

“We had problems with Iran, but now there are no problems at all,” King Hamad said on Thursday in Moscow, where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There is no reason to postpone the normalisation of relations with Iran. We are trying to have normal diplomatic, commercial and cultural relations between us and them.”

King Hamad is to visit China on Friday for talks with President Xi Jinping.

The Bahraini monarch this month led the 33rd Arab League summit, where member states called for Manama to host an international peace conference to revive the two-state solution between Palestine and Israel.

“There is complete agreement among the Arab countries on the necessity of holding a peace conference to solve the problem of the Middle East,” King Hamad was quoted as saying by the Russian Interfax news agency. “Russia is the first country that we asked to support its holding.”

Saudi Arabia and Iran announced last March that the countries had restored ties. Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the rapprochement, which was brokered by China.

“This agreement would constitute a positive step on the road to resolving differences and ending all regional conflicts through dialogue and diplomatic means,” the ministry said at the time.

The following day, Ahmed Al Musallam, chairman of Bahrain's Council of Representatives, received his Iranian counterpart, Mojtaba Rezakha, in Manama for an Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting.

Last May, an Iranian delegation led by Ali Alizadeh, a member of the parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, visited Manama as part of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly meetings.

Updated: May 24, 2024, 12:48 PM