Iranian warship in Port Sudan (archive)
Iranian warship in Port Sudan (archive)Reuters

Two Iranian warships docked in Sudan on Monday, Khartoum's military said, according to AFP.

Sudan's army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad was quoted as having said that the warships, one of them a navy supply ship, had arrived in Port Sudan.

They would refuel and then continue elsewhere, he said, adding that during their port call civilians could tour the Iranian ships.

Iranian warships regularly dock in Port Sudan, in what Khartoum describes as “routine” visits. Khartoum has denied Iranian involvement in weapons manufacturing and has accused Israel of "spreading fabricated information".

Israel recently intercepted the Klos C weapons ship, which was carrying Iranian-made weapons meant for Gaza. The ship was sailing to Sudan, where the arms could have then been transferred to the Sinai Peninsula and from there to Gaza via the underground smuggling tunnels.

Sudan denied it had any connection with the Klos C ship, saying that the vessel was in international waters.

Port Sudan lies about 250 kilometers (155 miles) across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia, which has long been wary of Iran's regional ambitions.

In March, a Western diplomat said strained political relations between Riyadh and Khartoum over Iran could have been a factor in a decision by Saudi banks to stop dealing with Sudan, according to AFP.

Khartoum also has close ties with Qatar, which is perceived as supporting the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood which Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies have long been hostile to.

Relations between Sudan and Saudi Arabia are "zero", a senior Sudanese opposition politician told AFP last month.

Ibrahim Ghandour, the chief assistant to President Omar al-Bashir, said in a March interview that there is "nothing peculiar" in Sudan's relations with Iran, which he said has not affected ties with other neighbors including Saudi Arabia which remains a leading investor.

"Our relation with our Arab brothers and sisters is very normal," he stressed.