Saturday, June 03, 2023

Pakistan, India to be part of Iran's naval alliance for regional stability

A file image of naval ships floating in the sea. — AFP
A file image of naval ships floating in the sea. — AFP

  • Iran, Saudi Arabia to join hands with three other Gulf states.
  • Only cooperation brings security to area, Iran official says.
  • Iran trying to mend strained ties with several Gulf Arab states.

Iran's navy commander said his country and Saudi Arabia, as well as three other Gulf states, plan to form a naval alliance that will also include India and Pakistan, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

"The countries of the region have today realised that only cooperation with each other brings security to the area," Iran's navy commander Shahram Irani was quoted as saying.

He did not elaborate on the shape of the alliance that he said would be formed soon.

Iran has recently been trying to mend its strained ties with several Gulf Arab states.

In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran ended seven years of hostility under a China-mediated deal, stressing the need for regional stability and economic cooperation.

Naval commander Irani said the states that will take part in the alliance also include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Pakistan, and India.

Saudi Arabia's rapprochement with Iran has frustrated Israel's efforts to isolate Iran diplomatically.

The UAE, which was the first Gulf Arab country to sign a normalisation agreement with Israel in 2020, resumed formal relations with Iran last year.