US-Iran War could be damaging to Bahrain | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

US-Iran War could be damaging to Bahrain

Most Bahrain residents say that a US and Iran war would be “significantly damaging” to Bahrain, according to a survey. Forty-four per cent of the 605 respondents who took part in the survey believe that a war between the two countries could be damaging to Bahrain. Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) held the survey. The war, according to 22pc of the respondents, will have only a small impact on the Kingdom.

Fourteen pc said it wouldn’t affect Bahrain at all. The survey also asked respondents on the escalation sparking a war in the middle east. Eighty-one pc of respondents believes that a war between the countries is highly unlikely. Only 17pc said that war is possible. The remaining declined to comment.  Meanwhile, another report stated that any blockages in the Strait of Hormuz would affect Bahrain’s credit rating the most.

The report by S&P stated that Bahrain credit ratings would most likely be affected in the event of an escalation of US-Iran tensions caused by blockages in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s main oil shipping arteries. “Bahrain appears to be the most vulnerable Gulf sovereign to any blockages in the Strait of Hormuz,” S&P said in the new report Qatar, due to its high external financing needs, is also vulnerable, according to the report. Reports indicate that the two oil tankers damaged in attacks off the coast of Iran were carried out using sophisticated weaponry.

One of the tankers sustained extensive damage, including a fire and a hole at the waterline. Both ships caught on fire, however, neither seemed to be in danger of sinking. Iran had previously issued threats to block the Arabian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, which is one of the most strategically important choke points in the region and the world with an oil flow of around 17 million bpd. The country, which is reeling from the effects of re-imposing of US sanctions, has made clear its intention to disrupt shipping routes. 

The escalations come at a time when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making an unprecedented visit to Iran -- the first by a Japanese premier since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The attack also follows the missile strikes which hit the civil airport in the mountain resort of Abha, which is a popular summer getaway for Saudis seeking escape from the searing heat of Riyadh or Jeddah. Twenty-six civilians were injured in the attack, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said.

At least one Indian and a Yemeni were among three women wounded along with two Saudi children, said Malki, adding the “terrorist attack” on a civilian target could be considered a “war crime”. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said it is too early even to consider entering negotiations with Iran, despite soaring tensions between Washington and Iran.

Trump said that while he appreciated a mediating mission by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, “I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!”

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