Sudan rejects reports of Iran’s bid for Red Sea navy base, as Russian base is on hold

Sudan rejects reports of Iran’s bid for Red Sea navy base, as Russian base is on hold

Sudan has dismissed all reports of Iran’s intention to establish a naval base on the country’s Red Sea coast, which comes at a time when the creation of the Russian Navy in the country has been postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing fighting.

Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Al-Sadiq Ali was quoted by Sputnik Arabic as saying that an article published on Sunday (10 March) in the US daily newspaper The Wall Street (WSJ) Journal that claimed Iran “unsuccessfully pressed Sudan to let it build a permanent naval base” there, was “false and fabricated.” He made the comments on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum 2024 in the southwestern Turkish city of Antalya on Sunday. The WSJ also claimed that the Iranian military installation “would have allowed Tehran to monitor maritime traffic to and from the Suez Canal and Israel,” according to a senior Sudanese intelligence official. Sudan’s top diplomat denied these claims, saying that Iran has “never asked Sudan to establish a base there. I paid a visit to Iran lately, and the issue was never raised during my stay.”

This comes as the construction of the long-awaited base of the Russian Navy on Sudan’s coast has been postponed indefinitely due to the political crisis in the country. “Due to the dissolution of parliament, the Sudanese side has not yet been able to complete the necessary internal ratification procedures,” Andrei Chernovol, Russian Ambassador to Sudan, said recently. Plans for the creation of Russian military infrastructure in Port Sudan have now been discussed for more than four years. Meanwhile, the recent naval defense deal inked between Somalia and Turkey is “also about Turkey’s long-held ambitions to project its power in the Red Sea region and opening the pathway to large defense deals in the future,” analysts say.

The deal may have been announced in response to Somalia’s tensions with Ethiopia, but analysts say it is part of Turkey’s long investment in the region and its aim to be a maritime player beyond its shores.

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