Bahrain, Sudan sever relations with Tehran; UAE downgrades ties
Bahrain and Sudan announced Monday that they are cutting off diplomatic relations with Iran, while the UAE said it will limit the number of Iranian diplomats allowed to operate in the country, one day after Saudi Arabia announced its severing of ties with Tehran.
DEBKAfile: Bahrain's population is mostly Shiite, and for years, especially since 2011, there has been an insurgency against the royal family and the island kingdom's ruling class, which is Sunni. The Saudi army intervened in Bahrain in March 2011, and since then the Saudi forces have shielded the Sunnis from the Shiites supported by Iran.
Sudan had been a military ally of Iran in recent years and allowed it to use a naval base as well as open factories for producing weapons, including missiles that were supplied to Hamas and Hizballah. But during the last two years the relations between Khartoum and Tehran changed after the Saudis agreed to financially support the Sudanese in return for the gradual cutting of relations with Tehran. Today, Sudanese forces are fighting alongside Saudi forces in Yemen against the pro-Iranian Houthis.