The latest reports of an alleged IAF strike on a Hamas arms convoy in Sudan draw attention to an arms network running from Iran, via the Persian Gulf and Yemen to Sudan, Egypt, and Hamas-ruled Gaza. The existence of this network has been noted by analysts in the past. It forms part of a larger, overt, close relationship maintained by both Iran and Hamas with the regime of Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum.
Reva Bhalla, an analyst at the US-based private intelligence company Stratfor, was the first to publicly note the transfer of arms from Iran to Hamas via Sudan. Speaking to reporters in early January, Bhalla suggested the involvement of Hizbullah agents in an Iranian created network bringing arms from Sudan to the Gaza Strip. Bhalla depicted the network in the following terms:
“You’ll have a bunch of Hizbullah agents who will procure arms through Sudan. They’ll enter Egypt under forged documents, pay off disgruntled Bedouins in the Sinai with things like light arms, cash, Lebanese hashish – which they can sell in the black market – and pay off Egyptian security guards as well so that they can travel covertly into Gaza to pass off the weapons shipments through Hamas’ pretty extensive underground tunnel network.”
It is impossible to verify the precise accuracy of these details. However, the involvement of Sudan in the Iranian-Hamas war effort would fit with the larger pattern of Sudan’s regional alliances and activity. The close connections between Teheran, Khartoum and Hamas are a matter of public record. Continue Reading →