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An unsuccessful coup attempt in the Arab Gulf state of Bahrain last December got little attention in the Western press, but its shock waves are still being felt.

The rebels, Shiite Muslims, were trained in Iran, according to Saudi Arabia. Saudi leaders and those in a number of other oil-producing states now assert that Iran is moving to overthrow them. They apparently worry that Iran may combine subversion with its recent gains in its war against Iraq to shatter stability in this key region.

On the positive side, US Mideast specialists say that the scare from the Bahrain coup attempt has resulted in greater cooperation among the Gulf states in their efforts to anticipate rebellions and counter them.

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