The Iran-Sudan Connection

[Economist-UK] Iran's then president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, visited Khartoum in 1991, along with no fewer than 157 officials. During the visit, Iran agreed to help train Sudan's version of the Revolutionary Guards, the Popular Defense Forces. To this end Hassan Azda, an Iranian who had been training Hizbullah fighters in Lebanon, was posted to Sudan in 1992. Iran also helped set up Sudan's fledgling arms industry, now the third-largest in Africa. The missiles that Israel is said to have destroyed in the January raid were probably shipped into Port Sudan via Yemen from Iran. But it is also possible that some of the arms were manufactured in Sudan's own military-industrial complex south of Khartoum. The Iranian defense minister spent four days in Khartoum last year, where he signed another co-operation agreement in the fields of military technology and the exchange of expertise and training.

2009-04-03 06:00:00

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