Trump speaks with the leaders of Israel and Sudan in the Oval Office
Trump speaks with the leaders of Israel and Sudan in the Oval Office Reuters

Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday blasted Sudan for agreeing to normalize ties with Israel, saying the US-brokered deal is “phony” while accusing Khartoum of paying a ransom in return for Washington removing it from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“Pay enough ransom, close your eyes to the crimes against Palestinians, then you’ll be taken off the so-called ‘terrorism’ blacklist,” the ministry tweeted in English, according to Reuters. “Obviously, the list is as phony as the US fight against terrorism. Shameful.”

On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced that Sudan and Israel had agreed to normalize ties.

“The state of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace. It’s peace in the Middle East without bloodshed,” he stated during a call with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Sovereign Council president General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and civilian leader and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Trump’s announcement came shortly after he officially removed Sudan from the list of nations that sponsor and finance terrorism.

The move had been seen by many as a step towards normalization between Sudan and Israel.

Sudan’s 1993 designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir and has made it difficult for the transitional government in Khartoum to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.

During Bashir’s time in power, Iranian warships regularly docked in Port Sudan, in what Khartoum described as “routine” visits.