Bahrain is ordering all of its citizens to immediately leave Iraq and Iran, amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf.
Earlier in May the U.S. ordered more of its naval and air forces to go to the region, as a “signal” to Iran not to engage in any “provocative” act, after Tehran had threatened shipping in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and also U.S. interests and allies.
Days later four civilian vessels were mysteriously attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and Houthis, Iran’s allies in Yemen, targeted Saudi oil installations with drones.
The U.S. has two naval facilities in Bahrain and close cooperation with the kingdom.
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry made the announcement via its state-run news agency Saturday afternoon.
It cited the “unstable situation in the region and the grave developments and threats that threaten security and stability.”
Baharin is a small, Sunni-ruled island nation off the coast of Saudi Arabia. It regularly accuses Iran of stirring dissent in its Shiite-majority population. Iran considers Bahrain a stooge of its regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia.