Iran contemplates naval alliance with Gulf states, Pakistan and India to ensure regional stability

Iran contemplates naval alliance with Gulf states, Pakistan and India to ensure regional stability
A handout photo made available by the Iranian Army office on February 16, 2021, shows the Iranian navy frigate Jamaran (76, bottom) taking part in a joint naval drill in the northern Indian Ocean. (Photo courtesy: AFP/File)
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Updated 03 June 2023
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Iran contemplates naval alliance with Gulf states, Pakistan and India to ensure regional stability

Iran contemplates naval alliance with Gulf states, Pakistan and India to ensure regional stability
  • Iranian official says regional states have realized only cooperation with each other will bring security to the area
  • Iran is yet to elaborate the shape of the alliance which may also include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

DUBAI: Iran’s navy commander said his country and Saudi Arabia, as well as three other Gulf states, plan to form a naval alliance that will also include India and Pakistan, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

“The countries of the region have today realized that only cooperation with each other brings security to the area,” Iran’s navy commander Shahram Irani was quoted as saying.

He did not elaborate on the shape of the alliance that he said would be formed soon.

Iran has recently been trying to mend its strained ties with several Gulf Arab states.

In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran ended seven years of hostility under a China-mediated deal, stressing the need for regional stability and economic cooperation.

Naval commander Irani said the states that will take part in the alliance also include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Pakistan, and India.

Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement with Iran has frustrated Israel’s efforts to isolate Iran diplomatically.

The UAE, which was the first Gulf Arab country to sign a normalization agreement with Israel in 2020, resumed formal relations with Iran last year.

Bahrain and Morocco later joined the UAE in establishing ties with Israel.


Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops

Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops
Updated 4 sec ago
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Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops

Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops
  • Situation to be reassessed if Gaza siege is ended and humanitarian aid is free to enter
ADEN: Yemen’s Houthi spokesperson said on Tuesday that the group’s operations in the Red Sea, where its missiles and drones have been threatening international shipping, will only stop when Israeli “aggression” on Gaza ends and the siege is lifted.
Asked if the attacks on ships would seize if a ceasefire deal was reached for Gaza, Mohammed Abdulsalam said the situation would be reassessed if the siege ended and humanitarian aid was free to enter.

Gaza war death toll at 29,878, Hamas-run health ministry says

Gaza war death toll at 29,878, Hamas-run health ministry says
Updated 27 February 2024
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Gaza war death toll at 29,878, Hamas-run health ministry says

Gaza war death toll at 29,878, Hamas-run health ministry says
  • Death toll includes at least 96 deaths in the past 24 hours

GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Tuesday that at least 29,878 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory during the war between militants and Israel.
The toll includes at least 96 deaths in the past 24 hours, while 70,215 people have been wounded since the conflict began on October 7, a ministry statement said.


Hezbollah fires rocket salvo at Israeli base

Hezbollah fires rocket salvo at Israeli base
Updated 27 February 2024
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Hezbollah fires rocket salvo at Israeli base

Hezbollah fires rocket salvo at Israeli base
  • The rocket fire was in response to Israel’s first strikes of the war on eastern Lebanon

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah said it launched a salvo of rockets at an Israeli air control base on Tuesday in retaliation for deadly Israeli strikes on east Lebanon.
Hamas ally Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily fire with the Israeli army since the Gaza war erupted in October, but strikes have been largely restricted to the border area.
Hezbollah said it targeted the “Meron air control base... with a large salvo of rockets from several launchers.”
It said the rocket fire was in response to Israel’s first strikes of the war on eastern Lebanon.
Israel struck Hezbollah targets near the city of Baalbek, killing two of its fighters, security sources said. The Israeli army said it targeted Hezbollah air defenses after the group downed one of its drones.
In retaliation, Hezbollah already fired 60 rockets at an Israeli base in the annexed Golah Heights on Monday.
Cross-border exchanges since October have killed at least 284 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including 44 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli army.


Israeli team in Qatar in last push for Gaza peace deal

Israeli team in Qatar in last push for Gaza peace deal
Updated 27 February 2024
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Israeli team in Qatar in last push for Gaza peace deal

Israeli team in Qatar in last push for Gaza peace deal
  • Israel is under pressure from the US to agree on a truce

JEDDAH: A high-level Israeli delegation arrived on Monday in Qatar, where political leaders of Hamas are based, as the combatants in the Gaza war closed in on a ceasefire and hostage deal that the US says is now within reach.
The presence of both sides suggested talks were further along than at any time since a big push at the start of February, when Israel rejected a Hamas proposal as “delusional.”
In public, both sides continue to blame each other. Israel says it will agree only to a temporary pause in fighting to secure the release of hostages. Hamas says it will not free them without a permanent end to the war.
After meeting Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said the group had embraced mediators’ efforts to find an end to the war, and accused Israel of stalling while Gazans die under siege. “We will not allow the enemy to use negotiations as a cover for this crime,” he said.
Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said any ceasefire agreement would require “securing an end to the aggression, the withdrawal of the occupation, the returning of the displaced, the entry of aid, shelter equipment, and rebuilding.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was ready for a deal, and it was up to Hamas to drop demands he described as “outlandish” and “from another planet.”
Israel is under pressure from the US to agree on a truce to prevent a threatened assault on Rafah in southern Gaza.


Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank clashes, WAFA says

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank clashes, WAFA says
Updated 27 February 2024
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Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank clashes, WAFA says

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank clashes, WAFA says

CAIRO: Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in clashes in the occupied West Bank early on Tuesday, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.
At least 400 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas gunmen.