Concerned with New Defence Relations between Israel-Bahrain, Iran Threatens to Attack Targets in Bahrain

By ARIE EGOZI

Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: The US through its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain is acting as a coordinator of the new defence relations between Israel and the Gulf country.

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The Gulf country threatened by Iranian missiles is evaluating the purchase of some very advanced missile defence systems made by Israeli companies. The active involvement of the US in the new defence relations between Israel and Bahrain will according to Israeli sources facilitate the sale of Israeli made systems to the Gulf country.

Israeli defence sources told Raksha Anirveda that the operational cooperation between the US Fifth Fleet and the Israeli navy is on a “daily basis”. The Israeli navy in recent year acquired new SAAR 6 corvettes and new Dolphin AIP type submarines, both made in Germany. According to the foreign press, the Israeli submarines were “tailor made” so that they are capable of operating against Iran.

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In February, Israeli defence minister Beny Gantz visited the US Navy Fifth Fleet’s headquarters in Bahrain. Israel and Bahrain have earlier this year signed a security cooperation agreement, the first of its kind with countries in the Gulf. Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet’s headquarters as well as some operations for CENTCOM, a US military coordination umbrella organisation for the region that Israel joined last year.

After the visit the Israeli minster said in a tweet that “against a backdrop of increasing maritime and aerial threats, our ironclad cooperation is more important than ever.”

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Israeli sources said on April 14 that the close defence relations between Israel and Bahrain are aimed at acting against any increase Iranian initiated hostilities in the region. According to the Israeli sources, Bahrain is located in a very strategic point that can assist Israel to operate against Iran.

Since Bahrain’s announcement on forging ties with Israel, demands within Iran to restore Bahrain to Iranian rule have returned with greater intensity. Concerned with increased Israeli activity in Bahrain, Iran recently warned and declared that it will not hesitate to attack targets in the kingdom, whether by itself or through its proxies.

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According to Michael Segal, a senior analyst in the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Iran has repeatedly warned that it sees Israeli activity in Bahrain as endangering its own security interests, and it will not hesitate to attack in response.

“Since the signing of the Abraham Accords and the bolstering of their diplomatic-security significance (with visits to the kingdom by Prime Minister Bennett, Foreign Minister Lapid, and Defence Minister Gantz, along with the Negev Summit in Israel attended by Bahrain’s foreign minister, among others), Iran has been more and more concerned about the implications of Israel’s growing ties with the Gulf States in general and with Bahrain in particular. Iran also claims that the Israeli presence in Kurdistan endangers its national security and hence launched missiles at a “Mossad base” in Erbil on February 13, 2022 “

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On April 5, the lead headline of IRGC-affiliated newspaper Javan said that new defence relations between Israel and Bahrain could lead to a missile attack on the Gulf country. According to the foreign media, the new defence agreement between Israel and Bahrain has already resulted in “the presence of Israeli intelligence sensors near Iran.”