Gulf states could go as far as using military intervention to prevent a regime change in Bahrain to block the tide of protests there from reaching their countries, analysts say.
A spread of the Shi'ite protests in Bahrain into the rest of the energy-rich Gulf states would be a major strategic victory for neighbouring Shi'ite Iran, they said on Thursday.
Foreign ministers of the six-nation alliance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which Bahrain is a member, affirmed at a meeting in Manama on Thursday their political, economic, security and defence support for Bahrain.
"Gulf states cannot accept a fundamental and radical change in Bahrain. The demand for constitutional monarchy cannot be imposed without [natural] political development that takes its due course," Saudi political analyst Dakheel al-Dakheel said.
"This will create a state of political and security confusion in Bahrain that opens the door for Iranian and non-Iranian interference, which will not be acceptable to Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia," said Dakheel.
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