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Bahrain tries Iranians for spying 13, April 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain, Middle East.
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Two (or possibly three) Iranians are facing charges in Bahrain for spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). They were allegedly meeting with various nefarious people:

with the intention of undermining Bahrain’s military, political and economic status and harming the nation’s interests.

This action comes soon after Kuwait tried and convicted members of an Iranian spy ring. Diplomats were expelled, recalled and a fuss generally made. Ahmadinejad denied that any Iranians were spying in Kuwait. After all, he cheekily mused,

there’s nothing to spy on in…Kuwait

In the past Kuwait has had reasonably good relations with Iran. Their Ambassador in Tehran even – shock, horror – suggested that the term Persian Gulf was more appropriate than Arabian Gulf. Yet the atmosphere in recent months has turned for the worse.

It is difficult to work out the exact extent of Iran’s interference or spying on this side of the Gulf. The default position of many in these parts seems to be an unequivocal “of course they are spying” without that much evidence. These trials may well be good examples of assorted Iranian perfidy but it’s difficult to tell. I think that the GCC States ought to have paid more attention to a fable about an annoying boy, his sheep and a wolf.

Kuwait arrests Revolutionary Guard cell 2, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran, Kuwait.
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Kuwaiti security services report that they have arrested members of an Iranian Revolutionary Guards cell in the country. In a raid on a house in Sulaibiyah, authorities found $250,000, maps of sensitive military sites and advanced communication paraphernalia. The primary targets of their surveillance are believed to be the American installations in Kuwait.

The notion of Iranian Revolutionary Guards 5th columnists holds significant fear for GCC States, particularly so in Bahrain and Dubai with their larger Shia/Iranian populations. Over the years there have been various threats from Iran boasting about their numerous cells in GCC countries and the havoc that they will wreak should GCC States’ territories be used as bases for an American attack on Iran. Whilst a lot of this is most likely to be typical Iranian hyperbole and bluster, arrests like the one today will add some substance to the fears.