We have a naval base in Bahrain. It is one of the more liberal countries in the Gulf allowing women to drive and the sale of alcohol. The Saudis built a causeway to Bahrain so they could drive there and party. Bahrain has a large Shi’a population (about 2/3). The ruling family is Sunni. I would be very concerned about an Iranian influence in these demonstrations.
No question... the Iranians are also PO'd at Bahrain because they are developing the gas fields that sit between them... and, Iran can get it's act together to do so.
It was very liberal back in ‘92 when I was there as well..Fond memories of Bahrain.