Bahrain Buying US Support via Trade Deals: Cleric

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Bahraini crown prince’s recent visit to the White House and signing of multi-billion-dollar deals with Washington were aimed at buying US support, a member of the presiding board of Bahrain’s Ulema Council said.

The Al Khalifa regime has realized that it has to spend exorbitant sums of money to attract US support, Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Khojasteh said in an interview with Tasnim.

He also slammed Bahraini crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s recent trip to the US as part of attempts to attract US support in the suppression of the Bahraini nation.

Describing the US president’s satisfaction with the commercial deals as a “humiliation” of the Bahraini crown prince, Sheikh Khojasteh said the US regards the Persian Gulf officials only as wealthy customers.

In a Thursday meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa signed several trade deals with American companies, valued at around $10 billion.

The deals include the purchase of F-16 fighter jets and the extension of a military cooperation agreement for 15 years.

Trump has hailed Bahrain for “doing a lot of business” with the US and “buying a lot of things.”

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.

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