Ship (illustrative)
Ship (illustrative) Israel news photo: IDF spokesman

As Iranian ships docked at a port in Sudan on Monday, a member of the Iranian parliament confirmed that Tehran had a close relationship with Khartoum, transferring manpower, technology and materials to Sudan. However, the official said, no Iranians were present in the arms factory that was mysteriously blown up last week.

Ismail Quatari, a member of the Foreign Relations committee in the Iranian parliament, said during an interview Monday that Iran had supplied assistance to Sudan. Speaking in a television interview, Quatari said Iran considered Sudan a “close friend,” and had sent Iran engineers to help it design defensive systems. However, he said, no Iranians were in the factory that blew up last week. Quatari again accused Israel of being behind that explosion.

In what some analysts was a message to Israel, Iranian ships docked in Khartoum Monday. According to Iran's official news agency IRNA said Monday that two ships that left from a port in Iran last month had docked in Khartoum, after passing through the Red Sea.

Irna quoted an Iranian official that the ships' visit to Khartoum was meant "to convey a message of peace and friendship to the region's countries and to provide safety at sea in light of maritime terrorism."

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