MANAMA: Iran was plotting to destabilise Bahrain long before the unrest and its overall goal was to destroy the GCC alliance, a visiting US congressman said yesterday.
Eni Faleomavaega suggested Iran had stirred up long-term resentment and seized the opportunity to strike when anti-government protesters took to the streets in February and March.
"Iran's aim is not just to rule Bahrain, but to destroy the GCC alliance," he said during a lecture on Bahrain's importance at the Alumni Club, Adliya.
"Since its inception in 1981 the GCC countries have been a thorn in Iran's side.
"If Iran succeeds in splitting off even one country in the GCC states, in my opinion the alliance will disappear as its member states are picked off one by one."
The former chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Asia and the Pacific warned earlier this year that Bahrain had been confronted by a proxy war with Iran on one side and the GCC and its allies in the US and Europe on the other.
He said Iran had long desired to export an Islamic revolution and extend its influence in the Islamic world, especially in Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, Afgh-anistan and Pakistan because of their substantial Shi'ite populations.