DUBAI – 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 realized 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.