Iran Economy NewsBahrain traders call for Iran boycott over unrest

Bahrain traders call for Iran boycott over unrest

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AFP: The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce has called for a complete boycott of trade with Iran to protest against Tehran’s alleged fuelling of unrest in the tiny Gulf kingdom, press reports said on Sunday.

DUBAI, May 1, 2011 (AFP) – The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce has called for a complete boycott of trade with Iran to protest against Tehran’s alleged fuelling of unrest in the tiny Gulf kingdom, press reports said on Sunday.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on Saturday agreed to the boycott of bilateral trade estimated at an annual five billion dollars (3.4 billion euros), reports said.

“We denounce Iran’s blatant interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain, including its speeches and statements against the kingdom,” the BCCI said.

“In light of this situation, the chamber calls all traders, businessmen, companies and other institutions to boycott Iranian goods and stop dealing with their merchants.”

It also urged other Gulf Cooperation Council states — Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — to follow Bahrain’s boycott of trade with Iran.

BCCI treasurer Othman Sharif said their decision was taken in solidarity with Bahrain’s leadership.

“We want to show support to our leaders and decided to boycott all Iranian goods,” he told the Gulf Daily News. Bahrain mainly imports food, including dried fruit, from neighbouring Iran.

Iran, predominantly a Shiite nation, has admitted giving “moral support” to the demands of Bahrain’s people, but without any involvement in the protests in its Arab Gulf neighbour.

Bahraini authorities have come under strong criticism from international rights organisations over a heavy-handed crackdown on protesters from the Shiite-majority community in the kingdom that is ruled by a Sunni dynasty.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama urged Bahrain’s monarch to respect “universal rights of the people” on Saturday, two days after four protesters were sentenced to death.

In his phone conversation with King Hamad, Obama said Washington “believes that Bahrain’s stability depends upon respect for the universal rights of the people of Bahrain, and a process of meaningful reform that is responsive to the aspirations of all Bahrainis,” the White House said in a statement.

Bahrain, headquarters for the US Fifth Fleet and responsible for US naval forces in the region, was hit by protests from mid-February to mid-March amid a broader revolt roiling across the Arab world.

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