In recent times, there have been significant movements towards the restoration of relations between Bahrain and Iran after seven years of severed diplomatic ties between the two nations.
Bahrain severed its relations with Iran in 2016, following Saudi Arabia’s similar action in response to attacks on its embassy in Tehran.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its policy of good neighborliness includes all countries in the region, emphasizing its commitment to enhancing relations with regional states based on shared interests.
On Tuesday, Barbara Leaf, the senior U.S. diplomat for Middle East affairs, stated that it is highly likely that Bahrain will resume its relations with Iran “in the near future.”
These statements are not the first indications of the possibility of a return to relations between Bahrain and Iran. In March of last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian confirmed that efforts were underway to reach a preliminary agreement to restore relations with Bahrain. He added that the agreement includes a visit by a technical delegation to Bahrain to inspect the Iranian embassy and diplomatic facilities in Manama.
Historically, Bahraini-Iranian relations date back to the early 17th century when the Safavid dynasty intermittently ruled Bahrain from 1601 to 1783.
Until 1969, Iran regarded Bahrain as part of its empire. However, this perception changed after the United Nations conducted a referendum in which the Bahraini people voted in favor of independence from Iran. Consequently, Bahrain ended its colonial status under British rule and declared independence in August 1971.
As the prospects of reconciliation between Bahrain and Iran continue to emerge, the region’s dynamics and shared interests will shape the future of their bilateral relations. The resumption of diplomatic ties could have significant implications for regional stability and cooperation.