Iran setting up military base on the Red SeaIran is setting up a military base on the Red Sea courtesy of the Sudanese government.
Anti-government newspaper Hurriyat Sudan cited an unnamed opposition source on Monday as saying that the Sudanese government had struck a deal with Iran for building a base on the Sudanese coast.
Meanwhile, Sudanese rebel group The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Sunday that Sudan’s President Omar Bashir has reached a “very advanced” arrangement with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to establish a naval base either in Port Sudan or elsewhere on the Red Sea, according to the Sudanese anti-government news outlet Al Rakoba.
The accusations came after two Iranian naval vessels, the 1,400-ton frigate Jamaran and the 4,700-ton support ship Bushehr, docked in Port Sudan on Saturday morning.
Mahjoub Hussein, a spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, said that the visit of the Iranian warships, the second in recent months, was not intended as a message to Israel but rather to test regional opinion regarding the establishment of an Iranian military base.
According to reports in the Sudanese press, Sudan’s army spokesperson Colonel Al- Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad said on Friday that the visit by the Iranian military vessels is part of a “military exchange” with Iran. The ships are scheduled to stay for three days, during which they will be open for view by the public.Would an Iranian military base in the Red Sea be a game changer for Israel, and therefore bring about military action? Consider this:
By extending its naval presence as far as Sudan and the Red Sea, Iran would gain several advantages, including in regards to combating Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden but also in gaining control over the Red Sea shipping route, part of the channel through which Iran ships arms to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. An Iranian naval presence in Port Sudan would also upset Iran’s Sunni rival Saudi Arabia, located just across the Red Sea.If having a military base in Sudan means that Iran will have the ability to ensure that its weapons shipments to Gaza make it through, Israel cannot stand aside. It would have to stop the construction of such a military base.