Sudan announces the return of diplomatic relations with Iran after a long break

The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran following high-level contacts between the two countries over the past months.

The ministry said in a statement today that the Sudanese and Iranian sides “agreed to take the necessary measures to open the embassies of the two countries soon and to conduct an exchange of official delegations to discuss ways to develop joint cooperation between the two countries.”

The parties agreed to expand their cooperation in various areas that would serve the interests of the two countries and ensure the security and stability of the region.

In 2014, Iranian cultural centres in the Sudan were closed, and Khartoum justified its decision to increase their activity in spreading Shia doctrine in the Sudan, where most Sudanese embrace Sunni doctrine.

Sudan severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after storming the Saudi embassy in Tehran in solidarity with Riyadh.

With the return of Saudi-Iranian relations to normalization, Sudan’s attitudes towards Tehran have declined.

Last July Tehran and Khartoum announced that they intended to restore diplomatic relations between them.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Sadik met with his Iranian counterpart Hussein Amir Abdullahian on the sidelines of the NAM meeting held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where they discussed ways to resume diplomatic relations “immediately” between Iran and the Sudan.

Prior to the severance of relations, the Sudan was associated with good ties with Iran, especially in the military sphere. In 2012, President Omar al-Bashir visited Tehran, where he described relations between the two countries as well as the fact that Iranian vessels were often docked in Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Iran is reported to have played a key role in supporting the Sudan’s arms production sector, as published by the Institute for Small Arms Studies in Switzerland in May 2014.

Scrutiny of Iran-Sudan relations began after Khartoum accused Israel of sending four unmarked aircraft on radar to strike the Yarmouk Military Industries Complex in the heart of the capital Khartoum in October 2012.

After this incident, two Iranian warships left the Sudan after a brief stop in the port of Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

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