U.S.-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans, especially in the Gulf. The stakes are high because Iran is the regional power that has been supporting the Arab uprisings and the Syrian uprising.
The Iranian and Egyptian military officials announced the deal on Thursday as a joint announcement by the two countries, and Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA reported the agreement as well.
In a joint statement, Iranian and Egyptian troops agreed to establish “a joint regional force” of more than 4,000 soldiers and 4,000 vehicles. The two countries will also train joint troops in Iran.
Egypt’s military said it had invited the Iranian military to participate in the “joint forces” but it was premature to announce any cooperation.
The two governments have announced a strategic collaboration in the Arab Maghreb region, including cooperation in the military and maritime security sectors.
Earlier in June, Iran and Egypt announced a joint expedition plan to build a military base in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
Iran and Egypt also signed an agreement in October to bolster their navy to prevent pirates. The deal called for Iran to invest $500 million for the creation of a 1,000-meter offshore fishing base and $100 million for an anti-piracy ship.
The cooperation between the two Persian Gulf states in recent months are not new.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, both major oil producers, have cooperated in an effort to share oil production among them. The two countries have also worked together in the fight against the Islamic State group after a battle in the border region was called off, which resulted in the death of 30 militants. Both countries also joined forces in the international effort to fight terrorism.