Saudi Arabia Dismisses Iran Shura Statement as ‘Irresponsible’

Saudi Arabia dismissed as “irresponsible” a statement released by the Iranian Shura Council describing the kingdom’s policy in the Gulf region as “playing with fire,” the Saudi Press Agency reported late yesterday, citing an unidentified official.

The Iranian Shura Council’s national security and foreign policy committee called on Saudi Arabia to withdraw its troops from neighboring Bahrain, the news service said, citing the individual. The troops are part of the Peninsula Shield Force, a Gulf Cooperation Council military coalition established to protect the six member states from outside attack.

The Iranian committee ignored Bahrain’s right to use the joint GCC force to preserve the island’s security and peace, SPA cited the official as saying. The Iranian statement failed to mention Iran’s “blatant” interference in the affairs of Kuwait, SPA said, citing the individual.

Troops from the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, moved into Bahrain on March 14, the first cross-border intervention since a popular uprising broke out on the island in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mourad Haroutunian in Riyadh at mharoutunian@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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