Iran’s Attempt to Establish Permanent Naval Base in Sudan Foiled by Sudanese Government

By Arie Egozi

Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: Iran is trying to form more armed proxy forces in the region, but recently these attempts were rejected by some countries. Israeli sources said that the very “faint” action taken by the US against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, encourages Iran to deepen its influence in additional countries is the region.

Iran’s attempt to establish a permanent naval base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast has been rejected, according to a senior Sudanese intelligence official. Ahmad Hasan Mohamed, intelligence adviser to Sudan’s military leader, disclosed that Iran sought to construct the base to monitor maritime traffic to and from the Suez Canal and Israel.

“The Iranians said they wanted to use the base for intelligence gathering,” Mohamed said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “They also wanted to station warships there.”

Mohamed stated that Iran had offered explosive drones to Sudan’s military to combat rebel forces amid the civil war and proposed a helicopter-carrying warship in exchange for permission to build the base. However, Sudan rejected the deal to avoid straining relations with the United States and Israel.

According to Iran international, the website of the opposition to the regime in Tehran, Iran’s pursuit of a naval foothold in the Red Sea aims to bolster its influence in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, aiding Houthi rebels in Yemen to disrupt maritime traffic. Since November, the Iran-backed Yemeni militia has been blockading the route amid the Gaza war, in a bid to force Israel into a ceasefire. Instigated by Iran’s supreme leader, the group has targeted Israeli linked ships and more recently, US and UK vessels in response to their support for Israel.

The backdrop of Sudan’s 10-month-old civil war has become a battleground for regional powers vying for strategic influence. Sudan’s military, engaged in conflict with paramilitary forces, has sought external support, including drones from Iran, to gain the upper hand in the ongoing conflict.

Iran has long been a primary provider of drones to Sudan, steadily enhancing the country’s capabilities from surveillance to offensive operations. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has faced accusations of contributing to regional destabilisation by supporting proxy groups in the Middle East and beyond. Critics argue that the IRGC’s involvement in various conflicts raises concerns among international stakeholders about Iran’s influence and its potential impact on regional stability.