Israel offers Arab state the opportunity to tackle Iran together
Since Israel and Bahrain both view Iran as a threat, they could team up and counter Tehran together, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said on his landmark visit to the Gulf monarchy.
“We will fight Iran and its followers in the region night and day. We will aid our friends in strengthening peace, security, and stability, whenever we are asked to do so,” Bennett pledged in an interview with the Bahraini state-linked Al-Ayyam outlet on Tuesday.
The PM blamed Tehran of striving to “destroy moderate states” in the Gulf region in order to replace them with “bloodthirsty terrorist groups.”
When asked about the possibility of creating an alliance to resist Iranian influence, which could include Israel, Bahrain, and some other Arab nations, he gave a positive response: “We all understand that we face the same challenges, so why not work together to tackle them?”
Bennet, who became the first Israeli prime minister ever to visit Bahrain, assured the journalists that “Israel is a strong and reliable country.”
The idea of such a block was first floated by Israeli general Tal Kelman last year. According to Kelman, who heads the IDF’s Strategy and Third Circle Directorate, “the moderate axis” of Israel, Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and others should resist “the radical axis” of Iran and what he called its “proxies” in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
Israel and Bahrain normalized relations in late 2020 as part of the so-called Abraham Accords, a US-backed drive to improve ties between the Jewish state and some Arab countries after decades of strife.
Bahrain is a small island nation of around 1.5 million. The majority of its population is Shia Muslims, but the country is being run by a Sunni monarchy. The rulers in Manama have been concerned by Tehran’s activities as Iran, which is located less than 800 kilometers (497 miles) away, often faces accusations from its rivals of supporting Shia groups in other countries.