Keyhan (edited by Hussein Shariatmadari, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the paper, which generally reflects Khamenei’s views) wrote in its May 15 headline that political observers opine that the Al-Khalifa (ruling family in Bahrain) and Al Sa’ud (ruling family in Saudi Arabia) dynasties seek to achieve two key goals by incorporating Bahrain into the Saudi kingdom: to confront and suppress the popular revolution in Bahrain and for Saudi Arabia to evade internal crisis by confronting the spillover of revolutionary (Islamic) patterns (caused by the Arab Spring shock wave) from the regional countries to the kingdom. Keyhan also refers to the US-Saudi “joint conspiracy” as impossible, as the majority of people in Bahrain tend to believe that Bahrain is part of Iran and that instead of joining Saudi Arabia, it should return to its mainland, Iran. The report further elaborates on the “Bahraini people’s” strong resistance to the proposal.
(Note: Iran has claimed sovereignty over Bahrain since it was under Persian rule, from 1602-1783. In 1968, when Britain declared its intention to withdraw its forces from the Gulf, Iran renewed its claim to sovereignty over the island. In a popular referendum, conducted under UN auspices in 1970, residents of Bahrain were asked to choose between independence and annexation to Iran. They choose independence, and Bahrain became independent in August 1971. Following that time, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi never raised the issue again. After the Islamic Revolution, Iran has occasionally mentioned that Bahrain is, historically, a province of Iran.)