Special to WorldTribune.com
LONDON — Iran has been deemed a leading player in Sudan’s weapons industry.
A report by a major European think tank asserted that Iran was helping Sudan produce and export weapons. The Swiss-based Small Arms Survey said Teheran has become the second largest arms supplier to the Arab state.
“Military ties between Iran and Sudan have grown strong over the years,” the report, titled “Following the Thread: Arms and Ammunition Tracing in Sudan and South Sudan,” said.
The survey, released on May 12, cited suspected Iranian arms shipments to Khartoum over the last few years. In March 2014, the Israel Navy intercepted a ship in the Red Sea that carried long-range rockets believed destined for Sudan. Khartoum was also said to have received Ababil unmanned aerial vehicles from Teheran.
“There is also emerging evidence that Iran has played a significant role in supporting Sudan’s weapons manufacturing sector,” the survey said. “Older weapons from the Eastern Bloc and Iran, as well as newer weapons from China,
predominate among all armed actors in Sudan and South Sudan.”
Authors Jonah Leff and Emile LeBrun said Iran, which signed a military
cooperation accord in 2007, was also using Khartoum, through its Yarmouk
industrial complex, to export light weapons and ammunition throughout
Africa. They said Sudan was also manufacturing arms, including variants of
the Soviet-origin RPG-7, for Somalia and Syria.
“Dozens of RPG-7-pattern launchers resembling Iranian design have
appeared with rebels in South Sudan,” the report said. “Iranian-produced
RPG-7-pattern launchers have two distinct grips that set them apart from
those of other manufacturers.”
China was also deemed a major arms supplier to Khartoum, said to have
transferred the weapons to rebel militias in South Sudan. The report said
China was driven by its search for energy in contrast to Iran, whose support
was to Sudan was deemed ideological.
“Khartoum’s deliberate supplying of Chinese-manufactured arms and
ammunition to Southern insurgents took place in apparent violation of
end-user agreements concluded with the Government of China,” the report
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