Iranian warships are due to dock at the Sudanese Red Sea city of Port Sudan at the end of November, in what Tehran claims is a “routine visit.” The latest naval show of strength comes a month on from another port of call which came just days after Sudan accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike against a munitions plant outside the capital Khartoum.
Satellite imagery shot before and after the alleged attack appeared to show that the site could have been hit by a sophisticated military airstrike. Israel refused to respond to the accusations but asserts that Sudan allows Iranian arms to be smuggled through its territory via Egypt’s Sinai Pennisula and on to Hamas.
The news comes as Egyptian security forces intercepted a large shipment of weapons destined for Gaza smuggled into the Sinai Peninsula from Libya. The shipment of 185 crates was filled with anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives believed to be worth over USD 3 million.
Militant group Hamas is already said to be feverishly rebuilding its network of tunnels, two thirds of which were destroyed during the recent Operation Pillar of Defense, to enable it to bring fresh arms shipments from Libya and Sudan.