Friday, April 29, 2011

The west's silence over Bahrain smacks of double standards

The absence of pressure on Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will only deepen the gulf of distrust between Iran and the west

Hooshang Amirahmadi and Kaveh Afrasiabi, Friday 29 April 2011

"The European Union and the Obama administration have made a splendid art of double standards by imposing sanctions on Tehran's rulers for their human rights violations and taking military action against the Libyan dictator while failing to address the appalling repression of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.

For the US and the EU, which claim to uphold principles over interests, this contradictory policy and their silence over the Saudi intervention in Bahrain is particularly harmful.

Indeed, it is hypocrisy for the history books – to be interpreted by future historians as a reflection of the dominance of western realpolitik over values.....

A more politically and strategically correct approach counsels a course of action along the following lines: strong and sustained condemnation of the Bahraini government for its human rights abuses; threat of diplomatic reprisals; warning to freeze Bahraini assets and impose travel bans on various Bahraini officials implicated in rights violations; calling on Saudi Arabia to respect the democratic aspirations of Bahraini people and to withdraw its military forces from Bahrain; offering to mediate in the Bahrain political crisis; and to facilitate the process toward free elections.

Only through concrete and proactive measures such as these can the EU and the US recuperate from their damaged standing in the Middle East due to the double standards infecting their policies....."

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