Unified GCC policy urged to counter subversive Iranian agenda
Aug 13, 2015
Blatant Iranian subversive policies targeting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states were today on the agenda of a forum held by the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT).

Held under the theme “Official Iranian Interference in Bahrain’s Internal Affairs – Signs and Indicators”, the symposium warned against the danger of the Iranian agenda which is seeking to expand, spread its tentacles and impose its hegemony on all countries on the region.

The forum was attended by the Supreme Defence Council (SDC) President Lieutenant-General Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al-Khalifa, MPs and Shura Council members.

DERASAT strategic programme director Dr. Ashraf Mohammed Keshek highlighted multifaceted blatant Iranian interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs.

He warned against the strategic imbalance between the GCC states and the Islamic Republic, pointing out that the imbalance worsened particularly in 2003, which benefited the Iranian hegemon project in the region.

“Iran is portraying itself as a unique Persian island surrounded by hostile Arab countries”, he said, laying the tactics of the Iranian regime in using a cocktail of ideology and nationalism to pursue its sectarian-tainted agenda, particularly in Bahrain.

Citing updated figures, Dr. Keshk said that Tehran regimes allocates a major bulk (34%) of its real military budget on its defence and pumps 65% of the state budget in the coffins of the Revolutionary Guard, the paramilitary force which aids and abets “non-state groups” in the Middle East.

He pointed out that Iran will read the dividends of its nuclear deal with the P5+1 Group, adding that Tehran’s military budget would rise by 5%, but the budget allocated to the Revolutionary Guard would soar by a massive 50%.

“Emboldened by the nuclear deal with the P5+1 Group, Iran would extend its influence and impose as a hegemon state in the region”, he said, pointing out hostile official Iranian statements which reflect systematic subversive policy against the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Dr. Keshk urged the GCC countries to strengthen their presence in neighbouring countries so as to have more leverage in countering the subversive Iranian project, particularly in Iraq and Yemen.

He called for a unified and pro-active GCC policy so as to have more clout and ensure Iran does not have the vital margin it needs to overplay its hands and step up its subversive designs against the Arab Gulf countries.

He underscored the importance of adopting a comprehensive media strategy so as to counter the Iranian subversive and sectarian-tainted media campaigns targeting the GCC countries’ internal affairs.