Sudan says it declined Iran air defense offer after alleged Israeli attack

Iran offered to set up air defense platforms on the Western coast of the Red Sea after 2012 air strike attributed to Israel.

May 29, 2014 16:15
2 minute read.
Fire engulfs the Yarmouk ammunition factory

Khartoum arms fire R370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

DUBAI - Sudan turned down an Iranian offer to set up air defenses on its Red Sea coast after a 2012 air strike Khartoum blamed on Israel, fearing they would upset Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia, Sudan's foreign minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.

In an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper that seemed aimed at improving frosty ties with Riyadh, Ali Karti played down Khartoum's links to Iran and to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is outlawed in Saudi Arabia.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

"Iran, in truth, offered to set up air defense platforms on the Western coast of the Red Sea after the latest Israel raid, but Sudan rejected that because this would require Iranian arms experts (on the ground)," Karti said during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, al Hayat reported.

"We rejected that because it is an Iranian presence against Saudi Arabia, something which we do not accept," he added.

The 2012 air strike killed four people and partially destroyed an arms factory in Khartoum. Sudan blamed Israel, which did not comment at the time on the accusations.

Israeli officials have in turn accused Sudan of funneling weapons from Iran to the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Iranian officials were not immediately available for a comment on Karti's comments.

Sunni-powerhouse Saudi Arabia, a key regional ally of the United States, has been locked in a contest with non-Arab Shi'ite power Iran for influence in the Middle East.

The rivalry has effectively divided the region into two camps, with countries either allied to Saudi Arabia or to Iran.


Sudan has been entangled in a complex web that put it at odds with Saudi Arabia when the world's top oil exporter tried to shore-up Egypt's military-backed government in its struggle with the Muslim Brotherhood after the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi from power last year.

Sudanese media have said Karti traveled to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago for talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to improve 'lukewarm' ties between the two countries.

Karti denied that Khartoum supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed by Egypt as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Brotherhood's embrace of the ballot box challenges the principle of dynastic rule in the Gulf.

"There is a belief in the Gulf states that we have feelings towards the Muslim Brotherhood in any country in the Gulf or even in Egypt. But Sudan has refused to join the Muslim Brotherhood group," Karti said, according to al-Hayat.

Sudan said last month after a visit by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani that Doha would deposit $1 billion at Sudan's central bank as part of an aid package to Khartoum - a move likely to be seen in the region as evidence of Sudan's ties to Qatar, an ally of the Brotherhood.

In his interview with al-Hayat, Karti also played down Sudan's relationship with Tehran. "Our ties with Iran are quite ordinary," Karti said.

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations