Iran is hoping to bring Saudi Arabia and other countries into a naval alliance in the Indian Ocean, in what appears to be an Iranian attempt to encourage US partners to also work with Iran.
Iran has previously worked with China and Russia but its new initiative may try to capitalize on reports of the UAE leaving the US-led Combined Maritime Forces.
Iranian pro-regime media said that “a number of regional countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, are going to form a new naval coalition in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said.”
The Iranian idea is to work with navies that operate in the “littoral” maritime areas of the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Iran wants collective cooperation and has pitched this before to India and Oman, whose sultan recently visited Iran.
In addition, a report said US officials recently met in Oman to discuss Iran and that the US may be keen on trying to come to a kind of diplomatic compromise with Iran.
“In comments at a televised program on Friday night, the Iranian Navy commander said nearly all littoral countries located in the northern areas of the Indian Ocean have come to the conclusion that they need to stand by Iran and work in collective cooperation to ensure security. He noted that while Iran and Oman have held several joint naval drills in the past, other countries are now eager for collective naval cooperation, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan and India,” the Iranian regime media Tasnim reports.
“Today, the regional countries have realized that establishment of security in the region requires synergy and cooperation,” the Iranian naval commander said.
Pro-Iran media in Lebanon also reported this information, which comes after a recent naval drill between the US and UAE and after Israel’s Defense Minister warned about Iran’s IRGC and its naval threats. Iran has an IRGC navy and an official navy.
The US, UK and France have also been increasing their spotlight on naval security in the region after Iran seized two tankers. Iran has also used drones and mines to target ships.
Furthermore, Israel has been conducting a two-week drill called "Firm Hand" which is designed to simulate “multi-arena” scenarios and combine Israel’s abilities on land, sea and air. In addition, Israel recently successfully tested the naval version of the Iron Dome, called C-Dome. This means the naval arena is increasingly important in the region. US forces based in Bahrain have also rolled out a task force to use dozens of unmanned surface vessels to provide security in the region.