Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023.

Sudan Seeks Iranian Drones Amid Growing Regional Tensions

Sunday, 12/03/2023

A delegation of Sudanese officials has visited Iran on a mission to purchase Iranian-made drones, as a UN arms trade embargo expired in October.

Informed sources disclosed to Iran International that the delegation's primary objective was to acquire knowledge on the operation and utilization of the drones, which have been seen to be used in the likes of Russia's war on Ukraine and by the Houthis against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Russia has used hundreds of Iranian kamikaze drones against infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukraine.

The move comes in the wake of the US Defense Department's revelation that it had detected an Iranian drone flying over Sudan. Iran International has now learned that this particular drone is part of a broader initiative by the IRGC to sell unmanned aerial vehicles to Sudan, aiming to enhance its influence in the region.

Sudan has been garnering attention for its use of Chinese and Iranian-made drones, which are proving to be potent assets in the country's ongoing conflicts. The deployment of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is seen as having the potential to significantly impact the dynamics of the long-standing hostilities between government forces and various rebel groups.

For years, Iran has been a key supplier of drones to Sudan, with the country steadily building up its capabilities from reconnaissance to attack. Among the Iranian-made drones deployed by Sudan is Ababil-3, a small and lightweight UAV capable of carrying a 45-kilogram warhead.

A view of drones during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 24, 2022.

Additionally, Sudan operates drones from the Mohajer series, including the Mohajer-2, Mohajer-4, and the latest Mohajer-6, showcasing the country's commitment to advancing its drone capabilities.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has faced accusations of contributing to regional destabilization by supporting proxy groups in the Middle East and beyond. Critics argue that the IRGC's involvement in various conflicts raises concerns among international stakeholders about Iran's influence and its potential impact on regional stability.

Under the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords, normalizing relations with Arab states and Israel, Sudan quietly agreed to sign up, with the promise of being removed from the US terror list, but as yet, it has still not formalized ties with the Jewish state, the archenemy of Iran.

Sudan, still a conduit for weapons being passed from Iran to its proxies including Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, is yet to sign a formal deal, and fears are that the lure of Iran amidst Sudan's civil war, may be enough to sidetrack it from its US-brokered entry into 'the new Middle East'.

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