Iran has a significant role in Sudan’s arms industry

It said that there is “emerging evidence that Iran has played a significant role in supporting Sudan’s weapons manufacturing sector”.

Khartoum’s army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, told AFP that many countries, not only Iran, cooperate with Sudan.

There is “nothing peculiar” in Sudan’s relations with Iran, Ibrahim Ghandour, the top assistant to President Omar al-Bashir, has said.

“We are not in a military alliance.”

China has also reportedly provided training and technical support for Sudanese weapons production, the Small Arms Survey said.

It cited data showing that most of Sudan’s imported small arms, light weapons, ammunition, rocket and grenade launchers have come from China in recent years.

But the report also elaborates on the extent of Sudan’s military links with Iran, which have repeatedly been the subject of regional concern and speculation.

“Military ties between Iran and Sudan have grown strong over the years,” said the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based independent research group.

Two Iranian warships made a call last week in Port Sudan, across the Red Sea from Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia.

In March, Israel intercepted in the Red Sea a vessel which it said carried M-302 missiles and other weapons shipped from Iran.

They were to have been offloaded at Port Sudan and then taken overland to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, Israel said.

Iran denied any involvement, and Sudan said it had no connection with the vessel which it described as being in international waters.

May 12, 2014