Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made his first official trip to Bahrain and said from the Gulf country on Tuesday that both countries shared an interest in fighting Iran.
In an interview with Bahraini media, Bennett said Israel and Bahrain deal with “great security challenges that stem from the same source, the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Bennett said Israel fights “Iran and its proxies every day” and will help its “friends” in the region.
Since Israel and Bahrain normalized relations in 2020, the two countries have taken steps to forge military ties, part of Israel’s effort to build a regional alliance against Iran. Earlier this month, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited Bahrain and signed a military pact with the Gulf state.
Under the agreement, Israel and Bahrain will increase intelligence cooperation and create a framework for military exercises. Israel will also station a naval officer in Bahrain, making it the first Arab country to host an Israeli military official.
Bennett addressed the Iran nuclear deal talks that are ongoing in Vienna and said if the US returned to the agreement, it would be a “strategic mistake.” Like Israel, Bahrain is also opposed to a revival of the nuclear deal.