Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2010)—According to a report in the Washington Times, Bahrain’s ambassador to the United States is concerned that her country could be “the first casualty of a nuclear-armed Iran.” Bahrain—strategically located in the Persian Gulf and a long-standing ally of the United States—hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and its sailors.
In the article, Ambassador Houda Nonoo stressed that “’Iran has had claims in the past on Bahrain.’” Specifically, she stated, “’The latest was on their 30th anniversary in February 2009, where they mentioned Bahrain as the 14th province. Very similar to [Saddam Hussein's] Iraq mentioning Kuwait as their 19th province.’”
Ambassador Nonoo noted that Bahrain is “’a small country’” and “’just across the pond’" from Iran. Further, she explained that Bahrain is “’just 26 miles away from Bushehr,’” which is the “Iranian port city that hosts one of the nuclear program's key installations.”
Congressional Republicans have worked to hold the Administration accountable for developing the tools necessary to counter the threats posed by Iran’s rogue regime. In their “Pledge to America,” House Republicans pledged to:
- Require Tough Enforcement of Sanctions against Iran. The Iranian regime is a state-sponsor of terrorism, has actively worked to harm our deployed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and violates the rights and will of its own people. It has declared its determination to acquire a nuclear capability, which threatens its neighbors and the security of the United States. We will work to ensure the government aggressively and effectively implements the sanctions with the tools Congress has provided.
- Fully Fund Missile Defense. There is real concern that while the threat from Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles could materialize as early as 2015, the government’s missile defense policy is not projected to cover the U.S. homeland until 2020. We will work to ensure critical funding is restored to protect the U.S. homeland and our allies from missile threats from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.
Responding to Ambassador Nonoo’s concerns, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) stated: “The citizens of Bahrain—and our sailors and civilians throughout the Persian Gulf region—have reason to be concerned about the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions. Iran continues to export terrorism and destabilize the entire region. If armed with nuclear weapons, Iran would accelerate these activities in an unconscionable direction. The Administration has the responsibility to protect the U.S. homeland, our citizens abroad, and our allies by fully investing in the tools required to counter Iran’s ambitions.”###