'On the issue of Bahrain, what do the people of Bahrain want? The people of Bahrain say that every individual from among the nation should be given a vote in order to elect the government. A vote for each person. Well, are you not speaking about democracy? Are you not saying that you are the emblem of democracy? Are you not saying that you want to defend democracy? Very well, is there any kind of democracy which is clearer than this? Not only do they not give them the right to vote, but they also pressure, insult and humiliate the majority of the people. These people form the majority of the population. These people who are asserting their rights form 70, 80 percent of the population. The oppressive minority has the power in his hands and he is doing whatever he wants to them.
He even insults their holy beliefs. In the month of Muharram, they harassed those who took to the minbar, who delivered eulogies, who set up mourning banners and who performed rowzas. They even harassed someone who cursed Yazid – “All praise belongs to God” [speaking in Arabic]. Well, the reason why they are so shameless is that they are Yazidis. They defend Yazid. Should Yazid – who is the most disreputable person throughout the history of Islam – not be cursed? God’s curse be upon those who harass the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and his children and household. This is their behavior. This is Bahrain.'
Ayatollah Khamenei, Nov 25, 2015
'I would like to take this opportunity to announce something. The rulers of Bahrain claimed that Iran is involved in the events of Bahrain. This is a lie. No, we are not involved. Whenever we are involved, we explicitly declare it. We were involved in the anti-Israel events, which resulted in victories in the 33-day and 22-day wars. And from now on, wherever a nation or a group fights and confronts the Zionist regime, we will support and help it, and we are not at all afraid of saying this. This is a fact. But it is wrong to claim that Iran is involved in the events of Bahrain. This claim by the rulers of Bahrain goes against the truth. If we had interfered, the conditions would have been different in Bahrain.'
Ayatollah Khamenei, Feb 3, 2012
'In terms of its nature the issue of Bahrain is essentially the same as the issues of other regional countries. That is to say, the issue of Bahrain is not at all different from the issue of Egypt and Tunisia. It is all about a nation whose government ignores its rights. What is the goal of the popular uprising of the Bahraini people? Their main demand is that there should be elections in which each person can have one vote. Is this too much to expect? In Bahrain there is a superficial democratic façade, but the Bahraini people cannot really vote. They are being oppressed. Westerners took this opportunity to interfere in the affairs of the regional countries by bringing up a new issue: the Shia-Sunni issue. Just because the poor people of Bahrain happen to be Shia, nobody in the world should support them. The TV channels that used to cover the details of the regional issues should now be silent about the events in Bahrain. They should not reflect the killing of the people of Bahrain. And then some people in Persian Gulf States - whether politicians or journalists - start talking nonsense, saying that the issue of Bahrain is a Shia-Sunni war. What Shia-Sunni war? It is the protest of a nation against the oppression that is being imposed on it, just like what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and just like what is happening in Libya and Yemen: there is no difference.
The Americans would be happy to use their propaganda machines in the region and pass off the issue of Bahrain as a Shia-Sunni conflict. They would be happy to both block the support that is offered to the oppressed Bahraini people and to change the nature of issues and promote them. They ask why Iran is supporting the people of Bahrain. Well, we support everybody. We have been supporting the Palestinian people for 32 years. Which country, which government and which nation has offered support to the Palestinian nation during the past 32 years? Are the Palestinian people Shia? Our people made a lot of efforts regarding the issue of Gaza. Once our youth went to the airport, prepared to go to Gaza. They wanted to go to Gaza and fight Israel. They thought they could do so, but they would not let them in. We told them not to go. We stopped them because we did not want them to get blocked outside the borders of Gaza. There was no chance they would let anybody in. Our people expressed their emotions in the case of Gaza, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia and other places. But they were not Shia. Therefore, this is not a Shia-Sunni issue. They are making spiteful and malevolent efforts to present the issue of Bahrain as a Shia-Sunni issue. Unfortunately some people who do not have any evil motives fell into this trap. If there are benevolent people involved in this issue, I would like to tell them, "Do not make this a Shia-Sunni issue." This would be the greatest service to America. This would be the greatest service to the enemies of the Islamic Ummah who are trying to present the anti-tyranny movement of a nation as a Shia-Sunni Conflict. This is not a Shia-Sunni conflict.
We do not distinguish between Gaza, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen. Oppression against nations should be condemned everywhere. We approve of national movements that shout Islamic slogans and seek freedom. After the tanks of the Saudi government were deployed in the streets of Manama in Bahrain, the Americans showed how shameless they are when they announced that they do not consider the Saudi involvement in Bahrain as foreign interference. But when our marja taqlids, religious scholars and benevolent people tell them not to kill the people, they accuse us of interference. Is this interference? When we tell an oppressive regime not to kill its own people, they call this interference, but when a foreign government deploys its tanks in the streets of Bahrain, they say they do not consider it foreign interference! Such moves, such statements and such propaganda show how shameless the Americans and their regional subordinates are. Of course we believe that the Saudi government made a mistake. It should not have done this. It will only become hated in the region. The Americans are thousands of kilometers away from this region. Being hated in the region may not be very important to them. But the Saudis are living in this region. If nations of the region hate them, they will have to pay a huge price. They made a mistake, and anybody else who follows them will make the same mistake.
I say with clarity that, by Allah's favor, a new movement has started in the region. This movement is a popular movement. It is the movement of the Islamic Ummah. It is the movement which shouts Islamic slogans. It is a movement towards Islamic goals. The movement shows that nations have awakened. According to the divine promise, this movement will definitely achieve victory. The Iranian nation feels proud and happy about being the first to tread this path and remaining steadfast. Our young generation did not see the Revolution, but they are not less steadfast - if not more so - than the revolutionaries of that time.'
Ayatollah Khamenei, Mar 21, 2011