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Vol 55 No 12

Published 13th June 2014


The Red Sea missile drama

Fearing reprisals from Saudi Arabia and Israel, Khartoum turns down Tehran's offer to build missile launch pads near Port Sudan

Just how close are relations between the Islamist regimes in Khartoum and Tehran? The headline from Iran's Fars News Agency on 4 June – 'Iran, Sudan Discuss Expansion of Ties' – speaks for itself. Fars, close to President Hassan Rouhani's government and the powerful Revolutionary Guard, reported that Iran's new Ambassador to Khartoum, Shabib Jurijari, had on 3 June discussed 'all-out ties' with Sudan's Foreign Minister, Ali Ahmed Kurti. Sudan's National Congress Party (NCP) regime had just quietly announced that it rejected 'an Iranian offer to set up air defence platforms on the western coast of the Red Sea'. The news came on 29 May in an interview given by Ali Kurti to the British-based daily Al Hayat in which he explains that Khartoum had turned down Tehran's missile offer because 'this requires an Iranian presence against Saudi Arabia, something which we do not accept.'

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