by Michael Rubin
American Enterprise Institute
June 16, 2014
Bahraini security officials insist that Shi’ite opposition leaders in their country are under Iran’s influence. The Shi’ites reject this notion, claiming that they are only seeking to reverse discrimination and obtain social equality with Sunnis. Bahraini Shi’ites do have legitimate grievances. But even if the nation’s sectarian unrest is not a direct result of Iranian meddling, Iran almost certainly will take any opportunity to influence the nation. Until Bahraini Shi’ites experience equal opportunity under the law, sectarian unrest will persist and Iranian agents of influence will seek to radicalize the opposition movement, overthrow the monarchy, and expel Americans from Bahrain. It behooves Bahrain to pursue an agenda of equality – and the Bahraini opposition to mind that their movement is not co-opted and delegitimized by the Ayatollah.

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