The US designated an Iran-backed extremist group based in Bahrain as a terrorist organization on Tuesday, citing its threat to US national security and foreign policy.
The Saraya al-Mukhtar group is now considered “a Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” according to a US State Department statement.
Saraya al-Mukhtar reportedly receives “financial and logistic support from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps” and says its goal is to depose the Bahrain government in order for Iran to exert greater influence on the country, the statement said.
“The group has plotted attacks against US personnel in Bahrain and has offered cash rewards for the assassination of Bahraini officials,” the State Department said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the designation Saraya al-Mukhtar “sends a strong message to the Iranian regime that we will not allow its terrorist proxies to threaten the people of Bahrain and the US personnel stationed there.”
Today’s designation of Saraya al-Mukhtar sends a strong message to the Iranian regime that we will not allow its terrorist proxies to threaten the people of Bahrain and the U.S. personnel stationed there.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 15, 2020
The designation comes one day ahead of Bahrain’s National Day.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain designated Saraya al-Mukhtar a terrorist organization in June 2017.