Recently, some Bahraini sources reported a secret visit of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Zionist regime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Budapest, Hungary, in which the two sides emphasized strengthening and publicizing bilateral relations.
Apparently during the meeting held in April, the King of Bahrain expressed satisfaction with the visit, stating that relations with Israel were beyond the diplomatic framework and that both sides were interested in “coalition at political, security and military levels against their common enemy Iran.”
While this visit may seem unexpected at first glance, but a look at the process of cooperation between the two sides will tell us it is not far from expectation.
In this regard, it should be noted that Bahrain’s policies are in line with those of Saudi Arabia in the region, and it can be said that Bahrain acts in compliance with the policies of Saudi crown prince. We have seen, therefore, that, following Bin Salman’s foreign policy approaches in building regional alliances against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bahraini rulers are also trying to coordinate their regional policies with the Zionist regime.
It should be noted that Saudi Arabia, following the signing of the Iran Nuclear Agreement (also known as the Comprehensive Plan of Action) between Iran and the P5 + 1 member states, has been working to create tension in the region to form a new coalition called the Arab-Hebrew NATO, with Bahrain regime being a leading member. Of course, the Arab-Hebrew NATO is still an idea and a talking point and does not seem to become operational soon. But in any case, the Bahraini regime is expected to join Riyadh in its cooperation with the Zionist regime.
The Bahraini regime faced internal upheavals after the Arab Spring, and since the policies of the Manama rulers did not comply with the demands of the Shiite majority, they tried to suppress their opponents with military rule and iron fists. During the unrest, they repeatedly claimed that Iran was fueling the protests, and in order to promote Irano-phobia, they claimed that some Bahraini domestic groups were obedient to Iran and received financial and military support from Tehran.
So, after making these claims, they have tried more than ever to have security coordination with Saudi Arabia. Bahrain’s rulers also sought to create a strategic triangle, including the Saudi-Bahrain-Zionist regime, in line with their major military and strategic links with the US and the US naval and military base in the country. They also aim to create such a triangle to prevent Iran’s growing regional influence.
Therefore, given such backgrounds and collaborations, the open and secret meetings of Bahraini officials with Zionist officials are not unexpected. The Bahraini regime is now one of the weak links in opposition to Iranian regional policy in the Middle East and sees the best way to move closer to the Zionist regime to advance its anti-Iranian goals.
This is under conditions that a senior Israeli official attended a Manama Maritime Security Conference last week designed to counter Iran. Director of the Israeli counterterrorism department headed the Israeli delegation at the Manama summit.
It is the second official visit of a Zionist official to Bahrain in less than six months. Four months before the Zionist regime attended a conference in Manama devoted to examining the American ‘Deal of the Century’.
After the US President Donald Trump announced that he was planning to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the first Arab state to back the plan was Bahrain. After the announcement a meeting was held in Manama to this end but there was no specific output.
These issues indicate that Bahraini rulers are undoubtedly seeking to pursue US regional policies and striving to bring the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia closer together and to provide the US with a base in the region.
At the same time, given the presence of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, the country is considered a strategic region for the United States, and Americans are working to boost the legitimacy of the Zionist regime through proximity to Manama and Riyadh and to counter the unfounded security threats from Iran.