London-Based Bahraini Group Linked to Iranian Government
The London Evening Standard has reportedly uncovered links between Dr. Saeed Shehabi’s London-based group Bahrain Freedom Movement and the Iranian Government. According to the Standard “Dr. Shehabi has made speeches supporting Iranian hardliners and worked for 13 years in offices owned by the government of Iran.”
These links are troubling as Dr. Shehabi has been as a “credible voice on Bahrain” and even met with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he was chancellor in 2005. Dr. Shehabi responded to criticism by saying, ”this is all circumstantial, you will never be able to link me directly to the Iranian regime.”
Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations said in one case a link had been found between Iran and Bahrain’s opposition.
Abrams added that this instance should not be the basis for discrediting the entire Bahraini opposition movement, and asks that Bahraini human rights organizations “elicit strong denunciations” of Shehabi for the damage he has caused.