Following talks between the foreign ministers of Sudan and Iran in Baku in July, the Iranian government has decided to send military support to the Sudanese army

How Iran seeks to strengthen its influence in the Red Sea through military aid to Sudan

AFP/IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY - El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Irán, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
photo_camera AFP/IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY - Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

According to Al Arab, Sudanese sources have confirmed that an arms shipment has been sent to the east of the country from Iran. The shipment is intended to help the Sudanese army against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Clashes between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continue after tensions erupted in April. Tensions between the two sides stem from the attempted integration of the FAR into the Sudanese armed forces.

The two countries discussed the resumption of diplomatic ties following their meeting in early July in the Azerbaijani capital, when the two Foreign Ministers met on the occasion of the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The reunion was the first in seven years since diplomatic relations were severed following the storming of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran in 2016. The resumption of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh raised expectations that the rest of the Arab countries would follow the Saudi position on restoring diplomatic ties.

The two countries did not officially announce the resumption of relations for fear that it would affect the already complicated fighting in Sudan, but Sudan's acting Foreign Minister Ali Sadeq was quick to thank the Iranian government for providing humanitarian aid through the Iranian Red Crescent (an Iranian non-profit organisation that is a member of the international Red Cross) during the conflict between the army and paramilitary forces, and also mentioned his keen interest in finding "ways to restore ties as soon as possible" between the two countries. 

AFP/ASHRAF SHAZLY - Fuerzas de seguridad sudanesas hacen guardia en la capital de Sudán, Jartum
AFP/ASHRAF SHAZLY - Sudanese security forces stand guard in Sudan's capital Khartoum

The Ayatollahs' regime is particularly keen to secure its influence in the Red Sea. 

Following the reopening of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran has continued its willingness to resume diplomatic ties with Arab countries, thus avoiding political and economic isolation. In particular, through its relationship with Egypt (another valuable enclave on the Red Sea), Iran has decided to invite Egyptian parliamentarians in order to "strengthen ties and improve relations".

It is also hoped that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be able to meet with his Iranian counterpart Ibrahim Raisi during the UN meetings in New York in September in order to begin negotiations between the two countries. Iranian diplomacy has also sought to strengthen political and economic ties with several African countries, following the tour of Persian President Ibrahim Raisi to Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Iran continues to seek international support in an effort to ease the pressure and isolation of the suffocating economic sanctions imposed by the United States. 

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