Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran on Saturday and signaled Riyadh is open to a naval alliance with Tehran, an idea recently put forward by Iran’s navy chief.
“I would like to point out the importance of cooperation between our two countries concerning the regional security, especially the security of maritime navigation and waterways,” Prince Faisal said at a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Iranian Navy Commander Shahram Irani said earlier this month that Iran was working to form a naval alliance with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iraq. The potential maritime coalition goes against US and Israeli plans for the region, which involve forming an anti-Iran alliance between Israel and Gulf Arab states.
Amir-Abdollahian said Saturday that the two foreign ministers discussed increasing cooperation in all areas, including security. He stressed Iran’s view that “regional security will be ensured by regional actors only” without external interference, a clear reference to the US.
The increased cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia comes after a China-brokered deal that saw the two nations normalize diplomatic relations, which were suspended since 2016. “Our relations are based on a clear foundation of full and mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, and non-interference in internal affairs,” Prince Faisal said.