Iran Threatens Regime Change In Bahrain Over Shi’a Cleric’s Citizenship

Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim to show their support for him. Bahrain’s government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country’s Interior Ministry.
Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim to show their support for him. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. Hasan Jamali / AP Photo
Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim to show their support for him. Bahrain’s government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country’s Interior Ministry.
Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim to show their support for him. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. Hasan Jamali / AP Photo

Iran Threatens Regime Change In Bahrain Over Shi’a Cleric’s Citizenship

A chief in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned that Bahrain’s move to strip its top Shiite cleric of citizenship could lead Tehran to overthrow the Gulf kingdom’s rulers.

Qassem Solemani went on to say that the “the toppling of the regime will only be a small part of the repercussions that will also include armed resistance.”

Bahrain’s Ministry of the Interior cited Qassim’s “major role in creating an extremist sectarian environment and worked on dividing the society.”

Most Bahrainis identify as Shiite, but the country is controlled by a Sunni elite. The Gulf nation’s plight is of extreme concern to the U.S. as Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Human rights observers accuse Bahrain of gross human rights and civil liberties violations. We get the latest on Bahrain from Amnesty International.