Sudan denies Iran link to Khartoum plant allegedly attacked by Israel
Amid reports of link between Yarmouk weapons plant and Iran, statement by Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited by AFP, accuses Israel of spreading 'fabricated' information.
Sudan denied that the facility it claimed was attacked by Israel was linked to Iranian military activities, accusing Israel on Monday of spreading false information to justify the alleged air strike.
Last week, Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman accused Israel of striking the Yarmouk plant in the nation's capital, claiming that four Israeli planes attacked the arms factory.
Sudan, which analysts say is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip via neighboring Egypt, has blamed Israel for such strikes in the past but Israel has always either refused to comment or said it neither admitted nor denied involvement.
Senior officials in Jerusalem also refused to comment on Israel's possible involvement in the incident.
On Sunday, the British Sunday Times published a detailed report on the incident, claiming that the strike represented an Israeli attack on an Iranian-run missile factory.
A day later, responding to allegations of an Iranian link to the facility, the French AFP news agency cited Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as denying any links between Iran and the Sudanese weapons' plant, confirming, as it said "what is known by all: That Iran has no need to manufacture weapons in Sudan, for Iran or for its allies."
"We want to deny any relation between Sudan's military manufacturing and any foreign partner," AFP quoted the statement as saying.
In addition, the statement also accused Israel of spreading "fabricated" data to justify Israel's alleged attack on the Yarmouk plant.
Earlier Monday, and amid Sudan's accusations of an Israeli strike against the Khartoum plant, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported that Tehran's 22nd naval fleet docked in Sudan.
According to the report, the fleet consists of a warship and a destroyer, and "is aimed at conveying the message of peace and friendship to the neighboring countries" as well as preventing piracy in shipping lanes.
The fleet is docked in Port Sudan, the country's main port city, located on the Red Sea.