Could the Kingdom of Bahrain Become an Iranian Pearl Harbor?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah - The headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet is in Bahrain. Iran does not need to employ its air force against the U.S. naval facility, but only to topple the pro-American regime of the al-Khalifa family and replace it with a new Bahraini regime backed by the Shi'a majority which seeks the immediate withdrawal of the fleet. Even more worrisome for the U.S. is the fact that the Shi'a protest could easily expand to the neighboring eastern Saudi shore of Al-Ahsaa where most of the population is also Shi'a. Iran has already identified a situation of American weakness in protecting its allies in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Iran therefore is increasing its support to subversive elements throughout the Persian Gulf and especially in Bahrain. If Iran perceives a situation where the U.S. would treat the King of Bahrain as it treated Mubarak earlier, this would definitely encourage Iran to increase its offensive subversion in Bahrain and possibly in eastern Saudi Arabia.

2011-02-21 00:00:00

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