24 June 2016: Hezbollah, the political party and Shi’a Islamist militant group in Lebanon, has maintained a close alliance with Iran. After the assassination of Hezbollah’s military commander in May by the opposition forces, which include Saudi Arabia and the United States, Iran gave the go ahead for Shi’a militia to target Saudi Arabia, which is an extremely reckless and unprecedented move. Just Friday, the United States and Saudi Arabia were once again called out by an article on Iranian news site PressTV titled Us-Saudi Takfiri project threatening Mideast region, clearly naming the United States and Saudi Arabia as the “Takfiri militants” [According to Oxford Islamic Studies, Takfir is the “pronouncement that someone is an unbeliever (kafir) and no longer Muslim. Takfir is used in the modern era for sanctioning violence against leaders of Islamic states who are deemed insufficiently religious”]. In this case, the Iranian Shi’as claiming the Sunni opposition forces are not Muslims. The article covered Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, and cited Nasrallah’s comment regarding the large role Hezbollah has played in defending Syria and Iraq against the “Takfiri militants”.
As the protests that began earlier this week escalate surrounding Bahrain’s decision to revoke the citizenship of Ayatollah Isa Qassim, Iran and Hezbollah have spoken out in their typical dangerous, threatening fashion, warning that Bahrain’s actions could “set the region on fire.” For their part, Bahrain is pre-emptively trying to avoid the establishment of a Bahraini Hezbollah that resembles the Lebanese armed faction. But Iran views Bahrain’s decision to strip the Shia cleric’s nationality as orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, a Sunni majority country, and accuses Al Saud of using the government of Bahrain as a puppet. In fact, during Sayyed Nasrallah’s weekend speech commemorating the death of Hezbollah’s military commander, he stated that “in Bahrain, there is no such thing as al Khalifa. The decisions are only made by al Saud who decided no dialogue in Bahrain because that would open the door for demands in Saudi.” However, there is a case to be made that Bahrain is taking its own sovereign measures, just like Saudi Arabia has when enforcing the law, in spite of external backlash.
Iran and Hezbollah are also implicating Bahrain’s western allies, the United States and Great Britain in the government crackdown on the Shiites in the country. Just two days ago Hezbollah posted a story on their news outlet Al Manar blasting a British Military Chief’s visit to Bahrain amid the crackdown citing a Human Rights group which stated that “Britain is giving Bahrain a green light for repression.” However, isn’t it hypocritical for a Hezbollah news outlet, to cite a human rights group? After all, it is Hezbollah that has committed countless Human Rights violations, attacking, oppressing, and killing civilians with its fundamentalist ideology. Nasrallah’s speech condemned the government of Bahrain’s oppression to its Shi’ite population, yet Hezbollah constantly oppresses those that do not fall in line with their fundamentalist ideology.