Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday that it supports the recent measures taken by Bahrain to “prevent attempts to weaken its internal stability” after Bahrain retracted the nationality of the Shi’a supreme leader in the country Isa Qassim on Monday, according to the Bahraini state news agency.
The ministry affirmed that Egypt will reject any attempt from any externally-supported organisation to violate the Bahraini constitution and Bahraini state institutions.
The retraction came one week after a Bahraini court ruled to suspend Bahraini opposition group Al-Wefaq, accusing it of spreading sectarian unrest and being linked to external powers.
Thousands of Qassim’s supporters gathered in front of his house in the village Al-Deraz to show their support.
Qassem Suleimani, a high ranking commander in the Irani National Guard, said the decision may incite violence in Bahrain.
“Rulers of Bahrain surely know their aggression against Sheikh Isa Qassim is a red line, and crossing it would set Bahrain and the whole region on fire, leaving no choice for people but to resort to armed resistance,” Suleimani said in a statement according to Fars news agency.
The Iranian foreign ministry condemned the move, urging the Bahraini government not to “burn all the bridges with the people”.
The United States was alarmed by the decision, according to the department of state spokesperson John Kirby.
“We are unaware of any credible evidence to support this action,” Kirby said.
The Lebanese Shi’a party Hezbollah described the move as “very dangerous”, adding that the government in Bahrain “has reached a deadlock in dealing with the peaceful movement”.
The UN said in a statement Tuesday that the decision is “unjustified under international law”.
“Given that due process was not followed, it cannot be justified,” Ravina Shamdasani, a UN spokesperson said.
She added that the stripping of nationalities is permitted only under certain purposes.
“Given the numbers that we’re talking about in Bahrain, we’re talking a minimum of 250 people who have been deprived of their nationality, but there are some estimates that go much higher than that. Given that, it is clearly unjustified,” Shamdasani said.