TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry expressed “deep concern” about a recent move by Al Khalifa regime to uphold a nine-year jail sentence handed down to senior Shiite opposition cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman.

On Monday, Bahrain’s appeals court ruled to uphold a nine-year prison term imposed on the country's most prominent opposition leader, Shiite cleric Sheikh Ali Salman, despite widespread criticism both at home and abroad against his imprisonment.

In a statement on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi slammed the move by the Bahraini regime and said, “Unfair and violent treatment of Bahrain’s peaceful and moderate leaders will not only fail to tackle the country’s numerous problems, but will likely make believers in and supporters of peace disenchanted with non-violent ways and methods.” 

Elsewhere in the statement, the Iranian diplomat said supplying extra-regional countries with military bases using the Bahraini nation’s money cannot “guarantee security” in the Persian Gulf Arab country.

He added that the Bahraini regime should only rely on “popular power and national reconciliation” if it wants to establish security in the country.

On October 16, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation overturned the sentence and ordered a retrial of the senior Shiite opposition figure, who has been sentenced to nine years in jail in a series of previous trials.

Earlier this month, the tribunal adjourned the trial of Sheikh Salman to December 12.

He was arrested in December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Manama regime and collaborating with foreign powers. Sheikh Salman denies the charges, saying he has merely been seeking reforms in the country through peaceful means.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have slammed his arrest and called for his release.