On Monday, the Interior Minister of Bahrain said on Twitter that his country has deported several Lebanese residents with links to the Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah. The Gulf countries have declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The GCC deportation of Hezbollah sympathizers is a necessity for the security of Arab countries.
Hezbollah sympathizers work for Iran, not Lebanon. Their deportation increases the chance that Iran has no agents planted in Arab countries to sow discord and spread sectarianism.
Bahrain’s larger Gulf Arab ally Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would punish anybody who belonged to the Iran-backed Lebanese group. Manama has accused Hezbollah sympathizers, alongside Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards, of fomenting strife in the island kingdom.
The move came after Gulf Arab countries declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization, raising the possibility of further sanctions against the group, which wields influence in Lebanon and fights alongside the psychopath Baschar al-Assad’s forces in Syria.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia said it would punish anyone who belonged to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, sympathizes with it, supports it financially or harbors any of its members.
Hezbollah has close ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival for power in the region. Saudi Arabia supports Syrian opposition groups working to topple Assad and criticizes Iran and Hezbollah for helping him retain power after five years of civil war.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has stepped up criticism of Saudi Arabia, accusing it of directing car bombings in Lebanon. Nasrallah forgot to mention the largest car bomb his group has ever detonated in 2005 killing the Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri.
In January, Bahrain said it had caught an Iranian-linked cell plotting attacks on its territory, days after it followed its close ally Saudi Arabia in cutting ties with Iran.
Reuters contributed to this article.