BRUSSELS (EJP)---Iran is a threat not only for Israel but for the whole region, said Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States, Huda Noono, the first Jewish Ambassador of an Arab country, in an interview with EJP.
"We are all facing the same threat, which is Iran. We have to cooperate and work together and we need the support of Europe," she said in Brussels where she addressed on Wednesday the General Assembly of the European Jewish Parliament.
She added, "I hope that the European Jewish Parliament can play a role as a ‘bridge’ between the European Parliament and Bahrain." "We need your support as Bahrein is going forward in the process of reforms."
Noono, whose presence at the Jewish Parliament was considered as highly symbolic, is a member of the small Jewish community of Bahrain which consists in just 37 people, most of whom are the descendants of immigrants from Iraq whose families have lived in the tiny Gulf island country since ancient times.
In July 2008, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa appointed her Bahrain’s ambassador to the United States. As such, she became the first Jewish ambassador of any Arab country and also the first female Bahraini ambassador to the United States.
"Since 1979, Iran has tried to export its revolution to Bahrain whom it considers as its 14th province," the Ambassador said in the interview.
"It is very important that with Europe we share mutual geo-strategical interests in the region as we face the same external threats." "We have to address the message to Iran not to meddle in the region's affairs."
Bahrein has closed its embassy in Tehran and expressed support for a union between the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Bahrain's Sunni royal family has accused Iran of supporting mass protests by the nation's Shia majority. The country has seen intermittent protests for more than a year demanding political reforms.
"The Islamic party wants to transform Bahrain into a theocraty," Ambassador Noono explained.
The Bahraini Ambassador to Belgium was also present at the European Jewish Parliament gathering.
"Not all the Arab countries are going through the Arab Spring. What is happening in my country is not part of the Arab Spring. It is something totally different. It has become a sectarian issue," she added.
She insisted that in Bahrain all minorities, including Jews, coexist and enjoy freedom of religion. "We have a synagogue."
Although Bahrain has no diplomatic relations with Israel, she invited Jews of Europe to come to the country. "We are open for this."
A delegation from the European Jewish Parliament is expected to travel to the country in November.
The two-day plenary session of the 120-member Parliament, which took place in the European Parliament, expressed worries about the impact of the economic crisis on the rise of extremism, populism and anti-Semitism in Europe, citing the recent electoral gains of a neo-Nazi party in Greece an annual march of former Waffen SS in Latvia.